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IET Satcom 2018

Important milestone reached in the construction of the Ariane 6 launch facilities

(15 December 2017 - MT Aerospace) The new European launch vehicle ARIANE 6 is to embark on its maiden flight from the Kourou space center in French Guiana in July 2020. MT Aerospace AG and its Mainz-based subsidiary MT Mechatronics GmbH are constructing the mechanical launch facilities (ELA 4) in the Amazon region in a contract for the French space agency CNES.

With the successful completion of the critical design review at the end of November, Europe has come one important step closer to completing the ground facilities for the new launch vehicle.

Composed of representatives from the European Space Agency ESA, ArianeGroup, CNES, Apave and Socotec, the review board approved the detailed design for the launch facilities submitted by MT Aerospace und MT Mechatronics and thus gave the go-ahead for construction to commence in Kourou. The contract covers the 650-ton launch pad with the mobile pallet systems used to bring the solid-rocket booster to the launching site as well as the umbilical tower with a height of roughly 66 meters and the exhaust gas deflector.

The launch table is ready and completed and has passed acceptance testing at the plant last week. It is to be transported to the spaceport in early 2018. The first parts of the supply tower are already on the way to Kourou.

MT Aerospace is as main contractor with 10 percent work share mainly responsible for the fuel tanks and metallic structural components of the ARIANE 6. In addition, MT Aerospace and MT Mechatronics have been closely involved in the construction of all launch facilities for the six ARIANE generations as well as the SOYUZ launcher at the space center in Kourou for over 40 years.

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This is what the launch facility for the ARIANE 6 will look like when the new launch vehicle embarks on its maiden flight in mid 2020 at the latest. (courtesy: CNES)

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The launch table for the Ariane 6 during factory acceptance testing at the end of November 2017 (courtesy: ESA/ DONGES SteelTec)

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Transportation of the initial parts of the umbilical tower for shipment to Kourou (courtesy: MT Aerospace)

About MT Aerospace

MT Aerospace is an internationally leading company in the aerospace industry with 700 employees at sites in Augsburg, Mainz (Germany), Cagliari (Italy) and Kourou (French Guiana). A member of the stock exchange listed European space and technology group OHB SE, MT Aerospace develops and manufactures key components for the European launch system ARIANE, the Airbus aircraft fleet, space vehicles and satellites. MT Aerospace is a technology leader in lightweight structures using metal and composite materials. With a work share of 10 % MT Aerospace is the largest supplier to the ARIANE program outside France.

About MT Mechatronics

MT Mechatronics in Mainz emerged from the Antenna division of MAN Gustavsburg. Today we belong to MT Aerospace AG and OHB SE and, with more than 55 years of experience in the field, specialize in turnkey communication antennae, optical and radio telescopes, industrial plants, mechatronic equipment for research facilities, launch systems for European space programs and medical apparatus for cancer therapy. Our range of products and services encompasses the entire supply chain from design to development, manufacturing, system integration and commissioning, training, servicing and plant operation.