On Friday 27 January the Ariane-5 programme reached an important milestone, with the success of the last hot test on launcher's cryogenic main stage in battleship configuration (heavy structure), carried out at the CSG, Europe's Spaceport Kourou, French Guiana.
This test, which lasted 215 seconds as anticipated, included engine shutdown triggered by oxygen depletion.
Now that the battleship campaign has validated normal and degraded operating modes of the stage and its associated ground system, a start can be made on the "M/Q" campaign, for which the battleship stage will be replaced by one whose configuration is practically identical to that of a flight mo Hot tests lasting 600 seconds (the nominal in-flight duration will then be executed. The cryogenic stage for the "M/Q" campaign, fitted with its Vulcain engine, is undergoing finishing work in the Ariane-5 integration hall at Aérospatiale Les Mureaux, before being shipped to Kourou. The "M/Q" campaign will start in March. It will comprise five hot test in the "M" (propulsion unit development) configuration and three hot tests in the "Q" (stage qualification) configuration be completed next August.
The Société Européenne de Propulsion was prime contractor for the battleship tests and will be again for the "M" tests. the "Q" tests, the prime contractor will be Aérospatiale, which is in charge of the cryogenic main stage.
Also on 27 January two other Vulcain engine hot tests were successfully completed, one on the P5 teststand at Lampoldshausen, Germany, and the other on the PF50 teststand at Vernon, France.
The Ariane-5 programme is an ESA programme, management of which has been delegated to CNES.