Third firing of the Ariane 6 upper stage
Third firing of the Ariane 6 upper stage
© ArianeGroup

Third firing of the Ariane 6 upper stage

The German Space Agency's test center in Baden-Württemberg saw the ULPM grow for the third time, in a ground test lasting over 11 minutes.

Cumulative duration of nearly 30 minutes

On September, teams from ArianeGroup, the German Space Agency (DLR) and the European Space Agency carried out another static fire test of the ULPM (Upper Liquid Propulsion Module) upper stage of the future Ariane 6 launcher, representative of the maiden flight.

The operation, known as HFT 3 (Hot Firing Test n°3), took place on the dedicated P5.2 test rig, inaugurated in February 2019 at the DLR center in Lampoldshausen, Baden-Württemberg (Germany).

It roared the re-ignitable Vinci engine for 680 seconds, in two ignitions (" boosts ") generated by the APU (Auxiliary Power Unit), but also managed the pressure and temperature of the cryogenic propellants in the tanks during the non-propulsive phase.

The APU thus operated for a cumulative duration of almost 30 minutes.


Final qualification in sight

" This latest success for the Ariane 6 teams brings us one step closer to final qualification of the upper stage," enthused Martin Sion, Executive Chairman of ArianeGroup. This crucial test demonstrated the perfect simultaneous operation of the Vinci re-ignitable engine and the APU, two technologies essential to the versatility of our new European launcher, enabling it to carry out a wide range of missions. "

The first HFT dated back to October 5 2022, and the next took place last January 20.

A fourth and final test is still planned before the final qualification of the stage, manufactured at ArianeGroup's site in Bremen, Germany.

The aim will then be to test its operation during different types of mission, and in degraded conditions.

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