Spanish elements of Ariane 5 with a value of €10 million

27 June 2006

EADS CASA Espacio will provide two improved large structural elements for the European launcher Ariane 5, developed by the European Space Agency (ESA). The contracts, with a total value of 10 million Euros, were signed last Thursday, 15 June 2006, at the Barajas Centre of EADS CASA Espacio in Madrid.

Senior representatives of ESA, Arianespace, Astrium Space Transportation – the Ariane 5 main contractor – and of the Spanish ‘Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial’ (Centre for Industrial and Technological Development – CDTI) attended the signature event.

Toni Tolker-Nielsen, the Head of ESA’s Ariane Department, thanked Mr. Maurici Lucena, the Director General of CDTI, for their support of European launchers and in particular Ariane, which will allow implementation of these important improvements to Ariane 5.

One of the contracts covers the production of ‘Payload Adapters’ for Arianespace. It is a contract within the framework of an order to build 30 launchers. The Payload Adapter is a piece of equipment providing mechanical and electrical interfaces between the launcher and its payload. The Payload Adapter also includes a system to separate the satellite from the launch vehicle once the injection orbit has been reached.

The other contract covers the development of an improved the Vehicle Equipment Bay (VEB) structure. EADS CASA Espacio will use a new technology known as fibre placement, qualified by the company for aerospace applications. The main advantage of fibre placement technology, which produces composite carbon fibre materials using an automated technique, is the high reproducibility of the resulting parts, reducing manufacturing costs and ensuring the quality of the end-product.

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