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On 26 February 2019, the DLR German Aerospace Center in Lampoldshausen inaugurated a new test facility that simulates launch for the complete Ariane 6 upper stage.
The test stand has three main areas. A steel structure will hold the Ariane 6 upper stage in front of a concrete safety wall – the ‘Test cell’. Under this is a concrete chute to funnel away hot exhaust gases from the Vinci engine, and behind the safety wall is a concrete building with five levels for gaseous panels, control, and auxiliary systems.
The tests will include the Vinci engine firing, non-propulsive ballistic phases, tank pressurisation to increase performance, Vinci reignitions, exhaust nozzle manoeuvres, ending with passivation where all remaining internal energy is removed.