Nebula Public Library

The knowledge bank of ESA’s R&D programmes

De-risk assessment: MPCV-Orion European propulsion valve

Programme Reference
Prime Contractor
ArianeGroup GMBH
Start Date
End Date
De-risk assessment: MPCV-Orion European propulsion valve

ArianeGroup was tasked to investigate the adaptability and linked risks of a heritage design solution originally developed for Ariane5ME. In this phase, the objective was to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed design solution.


In the frame of the European Service Module (ESM) development for the Orion project a latching valve as well as a regulation (solenoid) valve is needed within an integrated pressurant control assembly. The requirements are to use 400 bar Helium vessels to allow pressure control of the propellants Hydrazine and Mixed Oxides of Nitrogen.
The current supplier encountered design related problems leading so significant requirement relaxations.

The de-risking phase has demonstrated the required technology for the proposed design. Testing has confirmed the good bellows performance and showed that the valve seat designs baseline as well as the backup design can fulfil the stringent requirements. The analyses have shown that the pressure drop requirements can be met with margin and the valve is not susceptible to pressure wave events such as slam and surge events. The resulting design is modular to allow for commonality between the latch and solenoid version and the known suppliers for critical parts (bellows, coating) have been introduced in the program and have shown promising results. The valve is ready to go into a preliminary design phase.

The valve will be able to replace the current US product with a European solution that is smaller and more lightweight than the previous and will enable a performance enhancement for the most critical missions for the European Service Module.

The goal of this development program is to deliver the first flight set in April of 2022 to be integrated into the ESM flight model 4 and to qualify the product up to this point. A serial production phase up to flight model 9 is planned subsequently. The de-risking phase has set a mature basis to go ahead with the development and qualification of this valve design.


Application Domain
Generic Technologies
Technology Domain
18 - Fluid Dynamics
Competence Domain
7-Propulsion, Space Transportation and Re-entry Vehicles
Initial TRL
Target TRL
Achieved TRL
Public Document
Executive Summary