A small ceremony took place yesterday at the site of Snecma Moteurs in Vernon, France, to mark the beginning of industrial production of the Vulcain 2 engine, designed for the new Ariane 5 ECA and Ariane 5 ES ATV launchers.
Present at the ceremony was Patrick Devedjian, the French Minister for Industry and Jean-Paul Béchat, Chairman of the Executive Board of Sagem-Snecma. ESA was represented by Antonio Fabrizi, Director of Launchers and Robert Lainé, Head of the Ariane Department. “As the 12 February Ariane 5 ECA qualification flight was a complete success; we can now go into full production of the Vulcain 2 engine,” said Jean-Paul Béchat.
The Vulcain 2 is used for the main stage of the Ariane 5 ECA that can place payloads of up to 10 tonnes into geostationary orbit, and by the Ariane 5 ES ATV, designed to deliver ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) to the International Space Station (ISS). Ariane 5 ES ATV’s maiden flight is planned for 2006. It will place the ATV into a 300 km circular low Earth orbit, inclined to 51.6 degrees, from where the ATV will use its own propulsion system to reach and dock with the ISS.
Robert Lainé | alfa
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