ESA space propulsion technologies to be developed in Dublin

29 Sep 2011

Dublin-based AMPAC-ISP Europe will develop the next generation of rocket engine technology to be used in space exploration missions by the European Space Agency (ESA).

The €2m contract is being split between the UK and Irish divisions of AMPAC-ISP, which develops and supplies propulsion systems, fluid control components and launch vehicle structural components.

Under the contract, AMPAC-ISP will develop new processes, materials and technologies to improve the performance of liquid apogee engines used in spacecraft orbit insertion and other in-space propulsion manoeuvres.

The company’s European headquarters in Dublin has 35 staff members who work in areas such as propulsion engineering, product assurance, manufacturing technology and business development.

It expects to recruit an additional 15 personnel in the next two years.

“AMPAC-ISP Dublin is a prime example of how the Government’s national space strategy supports Irish technology companies to develop innovative, high-performance and high-reliability technologies for the commercial space market,” said Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock, TD.

“It is a significant achievement for AMPAC-ISP to win this contract and I am delighted to see that their success will lead to a recruitment drive over the next two years.”

“Ireland’s membership of the ESA has helped over 70 Irish firms to secure contracts worth more than €70m in the past decade.

“The level of export sales from Irish investment in ESA is estimated at €35m in 2010 and is projected to grow to €96m by 2014 as the number of Irish companies securing ESA contracts continues to expand, and as existing Irish ESA contractors progress from intensive R&D phase to commercial exploitation phase,” said Sherlock.