ArianeGroup wins ESA’s “ASTRIS” Competition for More Versatile Ariane 6

Astris kick stage for Ariane 6. (Credit: ArianeGroup)
  • In the framework of the Ariane 6 Competitiveness Improvement Programme, the European Space Agency has appointed ArianeGroup as prime contractor for the development of a complementary stage for Ariane 6, the “ASTRIS” kickstage.
  • ArianeGroup development activities are worth €90 million [US $106.2 million]
  • Developed by ArianeGroup in Germany, ASTRIS is a true additional stage, called a “kick-stage”, that will further increase the versatility of Ariane 6 and enhance performance for new types of mission
  • Powered by the BERTA engine with storable propellants, ASTRIS will increase the capability to inject satellites directly into geostationary orbit (GEO), allow electrically-powered satellites to reach their orbits in a few hours instead of in a few months, and facilitate missions to the Moon and deep space
  • The first Ariane 6 mission equipped with the ASTRIS kick-stage is scheduled for 2024

BREMEN, Germany (ArianeGroup PR) — The European Space Agency (ESA), as part of its Ariane 6 Competitiveness Improvement Program, has chosen ArianeGroup to develop and build a complementary stage (kick-stage) for Ariane 6, called ASTRIS, which will enable Arianespace, operator of the new European launcher to place with even greater efficiency a larger number of payloads in different orbits, or to inject satellites into geostationary orbit (GEO).

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New ESA Contracts to Advance Prometheus and Phoebus Projects

Prometheus rocket engine (Credit: ArianeGroup Holding)

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA is forging ahead with advanced developments in two flagship space transportation demonstration projects, Prometheus and Phoebus. This will benefit Europe’s new Ariane 6 launcher in the near-term, and prepare for a new generation of European launch vehicles in the next decade.

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Third Test Cell for the European Research and Technology Test Bench P8

Firing tests of a LOX/methane combustion chamber have been conducted on the DLR P8 bench. (Credits: ArianeGroup)
  • DLR, CNES and ArianeGroup inaugurate the expansion of the European research and technology test bench P8.3 with a virtual celebration.
  • Whether science or industry – the P8.3 offers a unique research and innovation environment for liquid-chemical space propulsion and promotes the fast industrial application of innovative technologies of future propulsion systems.
  • Operation with different fuel combinations.
  • Development and validation of demonstrators with different levels of technology maturity possible.

LAMPODSHAUSEN, Germany (DLR PR) — The German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the French Space Agency Center National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the company ArianeGroup the European research and technology test bench P8 expanded. The partners opened the new P8.3 test cell on April 14, 2021 as part of a virtual celebration. 

With the expansion, DLR has created the prerequisites for future space propulsion systems to be developed and tested almost entirely at the DLR site in Lampoldshausen. DLR Lampoldshausen has unique skills, infrastructure and many years of experience in this area. The interaction between research and development creates important synergies and strengthens engine expertise as an important pillar of European space transport.

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