Thursday, November 10, 2016

Europe commits € 1.7 billion on Ariane 6 – The Echoes

The european space Agency (ESA) has confirmed, on Wednesday, the industrial controls necessary to the implementation of the rocket Ariane 6, in order for it to take over from Ariane 5 from 2020. During the official signing ceremony Wednesday in Paris, between the Agency and the contractor industrial project, Airbus Safran Launchers (ASL), the secretary of State for Research, Thierry Mandon, recalled that Ariane 6 is currently ” the most beautiful and the greatest adventure of european industrial “. the ” The countdown is launched, it remains 1.500 days prior to the first flight which must be 50 % cheaper than those of Ariane 5 “, there a summary for ” Les Echos “.

A complex collaboration

The european space Agency spent roughly 680 million euro in August 2015 for the early stages of development. On Wednesday, she added 1.7 billion euros to spend by 2023 for the completion of the project. Beyond these 2.4 billion, the industrial to invest $ 400 million in own, to which is added an expense of 600 million euros about to carry out a new shooting range in Kourou.

Before giving his sub, the ESA has had long tests in order to validate the project proposed by ASL, a subsidiary to 50 % Airbus and 50 % of Saffron. It also weighed in the negotiations on the part of each manufacturer and each country in the project. It is, in particular, had long discussions on the creation of a second manufacturing line boosters, in Germany, in Augsburg, in addition to the Italian factory of Avio. Germany, which is estimated to have invested in the Ariane 6 a sum in excess of its obligations, has obtained gain of cause, in the face of Italy, on its draft plant allowing it beyond the industrial return to defend its own technology. Between the two versions of Ariane 6, with 2 boosters or 4 and including the newest version of its little sister Italian Vega, the need for production is estimated to be from 2020 to 35 packs per year. What justified the creation of two lines, argues the boss of ESA, Jan Woerner. A point of view that does not shar e necessarily all the experts, who recall that SpaceX owes its competitiveness to a large part of his unit.

However, this topic aside, ASL has done everything to streamline the production of the various components of the rocket, to eliminate duplicates and ambiguities. But with eight States that participate in the funding of France to 52 %, Germany 23 %, Italy 12%, followed by the netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Sweden and Switzerland, the european co-operation keeps its share of complexity. Ariane 6 is to integrate it all by taking up the challenge to be as reliable as the Ariane 5, but two times cheaper. On Wednesday, the president of ASL, Alain Charmeau, has once again promised ” a launcher flexible, modular and competitive, which will fly in 2020 “.

Anne Bauer, Les Echos


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