In French Guiana in the midst of work on the construction of the launch complex for the rocket “Ariane 6”. Its launch is scheduled for July 2020.
“Space X is coming, they have a more modern design, so can offer more attractive prices. That’s why we’re making Ariane 6, to reduce costs.”
Head of Guiana Space Centre, CNES
Jeremy Wilks, Euronews: “We at the European spaceport in French Guiana. It is the center of the great building. In July 2020, will be launched carrier rocket “Ariane 6”. We know what we have to go to be the first in the star business.”
On the South American coast European engineers to build the launch pad for “Ariane 6”. This powerful design is one simple goal – to provide a launch of a new booster, the price of which would be lower than that of its predecessors. And to achieve this, you need a lot of concrete, steel and labour.
Frederick Munoz, head of platform ELA4: “Here will be launched “Ariane 6”. Behind me in the midst of the construction of appropriate infrastructure. It involved about 500 people. At the moment they do, mainly by the construction of a concrete platform, which will be launched booster”.
All are United by one goal – to provide the necessary conditions for a successful launch in July 2020. And to achieve this, work on a new launch complex of the Guiana granite is in full swing every day from 6 am to 10 PM. Now the center of attention one of his Central structures – planuotojai channel.
Frederick Munoz, head of platform ELA4: “When blast-off baffle will direct the exhaust blast of the engine in planuotojai channel – this large concrete structure with a length of 200 meters. The height and the width is 20 meters. That is, the channel will redirect liquid gases and flame”.
The main task of engineers is to reduce the time and expenses for preparation of launch. One solution is horizontal, not vertical, as it was practiced previously, the Assembly “Ariane 6”.
Didier Coulomb, Director of the program ELA4: “For the horizontal Assembly of the rocket you need less space. That is, we will reduce production costs because we use the buildings smaller. After the build is complete we will load the rocket on a special vehicle and transport to the launch zone. There it will be installed in a vertical position. Then we attach the boosters and check the status of the launch complex. If everything is in order, we connect to the rocket upper stage, and the module carrying a satellite. After that we’ll take the mobile launcher platform, whose height is 90 meters, and will be ready to launch.”
In French Guiana launch rockets for 50 years. The ideal location of the spaceport at the equator and the ocean, Europe has its own gate into space.
At the same time, competition in the star market increasingly fierce. There are new players such as Space X, which is ready to cooperate with NASA.
Didier Faur, head of the Guiana space center : “Space X modern view of the business, the value of her services below. We decided to build our “Ariane 6” to make the prices more acceptable. The reliability of the rocket “Ariane 5” is undeniable. The “Union” and “VEGA” were not failures. Every year we make at 11-12 runs. Work is progressing on schedule. Remains reduce costs. It is on “Ariane 6” with its modern modular construction concept we pin the main hopes. With her help, we will try to beat the competition and make customers more attractive offer than Space X”.
“Ariane 6” can perform multiple space missions. First, the top tier can be used more than once. The rocket is able to output in different orbits of some satellites. Secondly, it is available in two configuration options.
Bruno Gerard, Arianespace’s head: “the Main advantage “Ariane 6” is that it is presented in two variations – “62 Ariane” and “Ariane 64”. The first two accelerators, the second – four. “Ariane 64” more powerful. With its help, we can simultaneously orbit two communications satellites or a single large satellite. The power of the “Arian 62” smaller, but the cost too. It is designed to orbit small mass satellites”.
The project is literally ahead of its time. In the design of new carrier rocket used parts of models of VEGA and Ariane 5, such as the Vulcain engine. One of the key elements – solid rocket booster P120, which is currently being tested.
Massimo Toots, head of testing: “We have created rocket fuel. We poured it into the engine. And now in this building we will test. This is a very detailed test. Using powerful x-ray machines we will check whether the engine all the requirements”.
We are back on the construction site. The voltage increases: profit for the new part of the launch complex, and you must begin to install them.
Didier Coulomb, Director of the program ELA4: “IN January, will arrive Guiana rocket launch pad. It is a huge construction of about 500 tons. We’ll all have to gather here in this area of training, and then install a structure over planetstaden channel”.
Whereas in French Guiana, preparations pads in continental Europe built the first rocket. They will be released in the coming year.
Daniel Neiswander, head of space vehicles, ESA: “We expect to release the first batch in the next year in the spring. All ready for this. Work is in full swing. Starting next year we will start production of “Ariane 6”.
After installing the “Ariane 6” on the launch pad will only have 9 days to launch. For Ariane 5, this period was much longer – 30 days.
Jeremy Wilks, Euronews: “We are saying goodbye to French Guiana. Next month we will tell you about the European mission to mercury. Meanwhile you can get acquainted with the latest space news on our blog at Euronews“.