During the past decade Dutch Space has executed research and development activities related to re-usable future launchers and re-entry vehicles.
X-38 Mockup (foto NASA)
Especially the experience regarding the nasa X-38 re-entry vehicle. (X-38 is the experimental predecessor of the formerly planned Crew Return Vehicle), for which Dutch Space has developed two types of hot rudders, have made Dutch Space a valued partner in such programs.
Gradually, Dutch Space has built the capability to perform on re-entry missions with special capabilities ranging from mission and trajectory analysis, aerothermodynamics, system requirements down flow to detailed thermo-mechanical design including application of different relevant materials, risk and cost analysis.
Dutch Space' product focus for re-entry vehicles and future reusable launchers is currently on hot structures and recovery/descent & landing systems. Hot structure developments are aimed at providing Control Surfaces and Thermal Protection Systems (tps).
Hot structure developments are performed together with a number of other Dutch companies and institutes, together constituting the so-called aeolus-group.