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Enabling & Support

N° 10–1995: Ariane 5 progressing towards qualification for launch

13 March 1995

The sixth test on a P230 solid booster for the European Ariane 5 launcher took place on Friday 10 March 1995 at 14:05 hrs, Paris time, on its teststand at the Guiana Space Centre, Europe's spaceport at Kourou in French Guiana.

This test was the first qualification test on the solid booster. A further qualification test is scheduled in the coming months, before the maiden flight of Ariane 5 (flight 501). The early indications are that the test went well, thus encuraging validation of the design of the boosters that will equip the first Ariane 5 launcher.

Ariane 5 will be fitted with two P230 solid boosters, each 30 m high and containing 237 t of propellant grain in three segments. Each booster delivers a thrust of 540 t (equal to that of the most powerful Ariane 4 at lift-off), which makes this the most powerful booster ever built in Europe.

This test was run under the responsibility of EUROPROPULSION (a firm jointly owned by BPD Difesa e Spazio, of Italy, and the French Societe Europeenne de Propulsion). CNES (the French Space Agency) designed the test-stand and was in charge of carrying out the test. The P230 solid booster forms part of ESA's Ariane 5 programme, the prime contractorship for which ESA has delegated to CNES.