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Ariance 5 Launcher

Paris, 14 June 2003

The commercial qualification of Ariane 5 in October 1998 was a major milestone for the European space industry. The new generation launcher was developed to keep pace with trends in the commercial launch market, especially larger and heavier satellites, and to satisfy governemtal needs. The launcher is capable of boosting from 5.9 to 10 tonnes into geostationnary transfer orbit (GTO) for a single or dual launch (two satellites at once). It can also carry 18 tonnes into low Earth orbit (LEO). Right from the outset of the programme, engineers designed in the flexibility needed to integrate evolving launch requirements, especially bigger satellites and a wider variety of missions (most notably for the International Space Station). Because of this foresight, the baseline launcher is gradually being modified in order to improve its performance and consolidate its position in the global launch market.

The Ariane 5 programme was originally approved during a Rome meeting of European Space Ministers in January 1985. In 1995, then in 1999, the European Space Agency (ESA) Council decided on improvement programmes for the launcher.

Single Prime Contractor

EADS SPACE Transportation has built up extensive expertise, unrivalled in Europe, as prime contractor for large-scale strategic and space programmes. This position reflects its expertise to lead a team of companies offering the wide range of skills and expertise needed to design and develop complex projects of this type.

Starting with the next production batch of Ariane 5 (batch PA) in 2003, EADS SPACE Transportation is single Prime Contractor for the Ariane 5 system. As such it is responsible for the delivery to Arianespace, who commercialises the launches of satellites from the European spaceport of Kourou in French Guyana, of the complete and fully tested launch vehicle, and manages all the contracts associated with its manufacture.

EADS SPACE Transportation is becoming the sole point of contact for the European Space Agency for future developments of the launcher. The company also supplies all elements for Ariane 5, including the stages manufactured in its facilities at Les Mureaux (France), Bremen (Germany) and Kourou (French Guyana), the equipment bay, the flight software as well as numerous sub-assemblies.

Furthermore, EADS SPACE Transportation has the multidisciplinary expertise needed to handle such a complex programme:

* Programme management: configuration management, RAMS (reliability, availability, maintainability, safety), documentation.
* Technical management: approval of launcher element design and qualification, overall consistency checks, interface management.
* System engineering: integrated systems (aerodynamics, acoustics, thermal, structural, flight mechanics, guidance and flight control, pogo) studies and testing (acoustic, thermal, dynamic and electrical models).
* Flight software: design, qualification and development of flight software, which is tailored to each mission.
* Customer assistance: major role in Ariane launch campaigns, and support to Arianespace throughout the launch operations.
* Mission analysis and flight data analysis after each launch.

Stage Integration

EADS SPACE Transportation is responsible for all stages of Ariane 5, which comprises the main cryogenic stage, the solid boosters and the different upper stage versions.

The main stage is integrated at the company’s vast Les Mureaux complex near Paris. This plant is located near Cryospace, a joint venture of EADS SPACE Transportation and Air Liquide, which produces the cryogenic propellant tanks for the stage. Also nearby is the functional simulation facility, where EADS SPACE Transportation developed the launcher’s electrical system and software, as well as its guidance-flight control and navigation system.

To ensure safety, the solid-propellant boosters are manufactured at the launch site in French Guyana. EADS SPACE Transportation integrates these huge strap-on boosters at the Guyana Space Centre, starting with the MPS solid propellant motor delivered by Europropulsion, and adding electrical, pyrotechnic, hydraulic, parachute recovery and other elements delivered from Europe. Ariane 5 marks the first time that a major part of an Ariane launcher has been constructed in French Guyana. A complete Ariane 5 “assembly line” and launch system was built in French Guyana from 1988 to 1996. It includes not only the production facilities for the solid boosters, but also assembly buildings for launcher components shipped from Europe, and all payload-processing facilities.

Your contacts:

Dr. Mathias Spude
Phone: +49-421-5 39 5710
Fax: +49-421-5 39 45 34
EADS SPACE Transportation

Kirsten Leung
Phone: +49-421-5 39 53 29
Fax: +49-421-5 39 45 34

Sophie Belaud
Phone: +33-5 56 57 37 16
Fax: +33-5 56 57 30 19

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