Third firing test of the upper stage of Ariane 6

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The German Space Agency’s test center in Baden-Württemberg saw the ULPM pushed for the third time, during a ground test lasting more than 11 minutes.

Cumulative duration of almost 30 minutes

On September 1, the teams ofArianeGroupfrom the German Space Agency (DLR) and theEuropean Space Agency carried out a new static fire test of the upper stage ULPM (Upper Liquid Propulsion Module) of the future launcher Ariane 6representative of the maiden flight.

The operation, called HFT3 (Hot Firing Test n°3), took place on the dedicated test bench P5.2inaugurated in February 2019 at the DLR center in Lampoldshausenin Baden-Württemberg (Germany).

It made it possible to make the re-ignitable engine roar Vinci for 680 seconds, in two ignitions (“boosts”) generated by theCOULD (Auxiliary Power Unit), but also to manage the pressure and temperature of the cryogenic propellants in the tanks during the non-propelling phase.

The APU thus operated for a cumulative duration of almost 30 minutes.

Final qualification in sight

“This new success for the Ariane 6 teams brings us closer to the final qualification of the upper stage,” said a delighted Martin Sion, executive chairman of ArianeGroup. This crucial test demonstrated the perfect simultaneous operation of the Vinci re-ignitable engine and the APU, two technologies essential to the versatility of our new European launcher, allowing it to carry out a wide variety of missions. »

The first HFT dates back to October 5, 2022, and the next took place on January 20.

A fourth and final test is still planned before the final qualification of the stage, manufactured on the ArianeGroup site in Breamin Germany.

The objective will then be to test its operation during different types of mission, and in degraded conditions.

John Walker Avatar