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Pangea Aerospace: “We want to become the Rolls Royce of space”

© Pangea Aerospace

France has hundreds of start-ups in the space sector. The overwhelming majority were born in recent years and all claim to be more robust than their competitors. Many promise to produce entire rockets, capable of sending satellites into orbit within a few years.

But on the Pangea Aerospace side, this is not really the project. The company born in Barcelona, ​​and recently established near Toulouse, claims to want to limit itself to the role of “engine manufacturer”. As Marie-Laure Gouzy, vice-president of the start-up, explains to us, the objective for Pangea Aerospace is to develop a rocket engine with revolutionary technology, the aerospike nozzle.< /p>

Breaking the technical barrier

This idea is nothing new, NASA had already worked on this nozzle in the 80s, without ever obtaining the expected results. But almost 40 years after the first tests, Pangea firmly believes in this new project.

Beyond simple growth, the company has successfully ignited its engine Arcos, last October, developing a thrust of 750 kN. This new step in the development of their technology shows that an aerospike nozzle can work, it is a new victory for Pangea after the ignition in 2021 of its Demop1 demonstrator. It had then developed a thrust of 20 kN.

What’is an aerospike nozzle ?< /h2>

To fully understand the scope of this advance in the world of space, you need to take a closer look at your physics and chemistry classes. When a rocket rises into the atmosphere, it will pass through several layers, all with different densities.

These nuances of pressure around the rocket mean that the shape of the nozzle (the engine tip, so to speak) must change depending on the atmospheric layer crossed. To obtain absolute efficiency, the nozzle would have to be changed each time it passes through a new layer.

But thanks to Pangea Aerospace technology, a single nozzle can achieve a flight to orbit. A coup from the engine manufacturer which promises an efficiency gain of 15%. “Having a more efficient engine allows you to save weight on fuel, and therefore carry more payloads, for a launcher, it’s very important.”

In the shadow of the greatest

With this engine, Pangea assures, the idea is not to make headlines. “We are engine manufacturers and that’ is very good like that, we want to be the equivalent of Rolls-Royce for Boeing or Airbus, but in the space domain.”This role of exclusive engine manufacturer is far from being a new thing, during the Apollo missions and even at the time of the space shuttle, NASA built its rockets using different companies for each section.

“Engine manufacturers have always existed in the history of space.” This is ultimately just the advent of New Space and independent companies. with SpaceX in the lead that the role of engine manufacturer has lost ground. On the Pangea side, the development of numerous ancillary projects, with companies wanting to build both a rocket and a launcher, is not a problem.

For Marie-Laure Gouzy, small companies wanting to enter space have every interest in trusting Pangea for the engine part. “When you see the development costs for a classic engine, you think twice before taking the plunge.”

Suggest an engine from 2026

The other crux of the matter, besides money, is time. The world of New Space is in full swing this year and many projects are coming to fruition. On the Pangea side, everyone knows, we must not miss the boat.

The company plans to conduct several tests in 2024 and 2025. It hopes to be able to market the first models in 2026. They would be sold to the Israeli company Tehiru Space which passed order for around fifty flights.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116