The Ariane 5 storable propellant stage (EPS)(*), developed by DASA (Germany), successfully passed a first long duration firing test (1075 s) on the 5th October at the Lampoldshausen test stand.
The Aestus engine, which equips this stage, has itself passed a number of firing tests representing 12 000 cumulated operating seconds, including very long duration firings (1380 s), as well as in vacuo firings. The EPS stage, located in the launcher upper part, is primarily in charge of placing launcher payloads in geostationary transfer orbit. Its nominal operation is approximately 1100 seconds.
The EPS stage is part of ESA's Ariane 5 programme, the management of which has been delegated to CNES.
(*) The EPS stage (height = 3.3 m, diameter = 4.0 m) is propelled by the Aestus engine (thrust = 27.5 kN). This turbopumpless engine consumes, in vacuo, in 1130 seconds, a mixture of 3.2 metric tons of monomethyl hydrazine and 6.3 metric tons of natrium tetroxyde.