http://www.starsem.com/web_in/images/fregat.jpg [not image]
У ЕКА ббыл свой проект многоразового транспортника. Есть немного на сайте ЕКА.http://www.esrin.esa.it/
Starsem Static Test Qualifies Fregat Upper Stage
Suresnes - September 13, 1999 - Starsem and its Russian partners, the Russian Space Agency (RKA), the company NPO Lavotchkine, and the Samara Space Center (TsSKB-Progress) have completed the ground qualification of the Fregat upper stage, an essential component of the new Soyuz-Fregat launch vehicle.
The Fregat upper stage, developed from flight proven elements - the main engine and the propulsion subsystem were successfully used during numerous interplanetary missions - will be particularly efficient because of its compact configuration, its three-axis attitude control, and its re-ignition capability.
Because of this stage, the Soyuz-Fregat launcher will be one of the most cost efficient solutions for placing satellites in low and medium orbits, in particular, scientific satellites and Earth observation satellites, as well as for interplanetary missions.
The first mission of the Soyuz-Fregat launcher is planned for early next year. The system is able to place a 2.7-tonne satellite into an orbit of 800 kilometers (500 miles), and thanks to an added booster capability in the fourth stage, put a 4.2-tonne satellite into an orbit of 1,400 kilometers (850 miles).
Fregat is part of a system, called Soyuz-Fregat, derived from the veteran Soviet launcher Semyorka, which also comprises a four-motor booster section, a second and a third stage.
The launcher has already been lined up next year to launch four European Space Agency (ESA) satellites, called Cluster 2, that will research the Earth's magnetic field, and to launch a probe, Mars Express, in mid-2003.
Starsem comprises Aerospatiale Matra of France; ESA's marketing arm, Arianespace; the Russian Space Agency and the Samara Space Centre.
AFP wire services contributed to this report.
Starsem To Launch Mars Express
Paris - 16 June, 1999 - ESA has signed a launch contract with Starsem to launch the Mars Express probe in 2003 aboard a Soyuz-Fregat vehicle.
"I'm very happy to sign this contract with Starsem and to have a launcher for Mars Express, the first European mission to the red planet", said Roger Bonnet, ESA director, scientific programme.
Mars Express will be launched by the Soyuz-Fregat launcher in June 2003 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The launch window opens on 1 June and lasts until 11 June 2003, maximising use of the favourable positioning of Earth with relation to Mars at that time.
When it arrives at the red planet six months later, it will begin to map the planet, to study the crust and to search for water. Seven instruments, provided by space research institutes throughout Europe, will make observations from the main spacecraft as it orbits the planet. Just before the spacecraft arrives, it will release a small lander, Beagle II, that will journey on to the surface to look for signs of life.
This is the second launch contract awarded by ESA to Starsem, the first being for the launch of the four Cluster II satellites, in two pairs by Soyuz-Fregat vehicles, in summer 2000.
The partners in the joint European-Russian Company Starsem, founded in 1996 to perform the launch services of the Soyuz launcher family, are Aerospatiale, Arianespace, the Russian Space Agency (RKA) and the Samara Space Centre.