To enable independent access to space, the nations of Europe agreed on the Ariane programme back in 1973; it has since become one of the most successful European technology programmes. Germany has been an important partner from the outset. Launch vehicles remain a key element in European and German space strategy. The overall objective is to create a reliable, flexible and competitive European launch system. The Ariane programme has fulfilled this purpose for 35 years, providing in Ariane 5 a truly high-performance launch vehicle. More about the Ariane programme.
At the DLR Institute of Space Propulsion in Lampoldshausen, and within the scope of the Ariane programme, both the engines of the current Ariane production as well as future ones will be tested.
Ariane 5 at a glance: from the Ariane 5G with the 5GS up to the current Ariane 5ECA and future Ariane 5ME.
The future European launcher, Ariane 6, is scheduled to lift off for the first time in 2020. To ensure that all its payloads can be safely transported into orbit, the engines for the new launcher must first undergo extensive testing. An important step in the upper-stage testing of the new launcher was taken on 26 February 2019. At the DLR site in Lampoldshausen, the new P5.2 test rig was officially inaugurated by Pascale Ehrenfreund, Chair of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Executive Board, Daniel Neuenschwander, Director of Space Transportation at the European Space Agency (ESA), and Pierre Godart, CEO of ArianeGroup GmbH, in the presence of numerous space policymakers and representatives from industry and academia.
Space travel is not possible without launchers. Every space activity is based on this simple fact. Launcher systems connect Earth to space. They transport people and materials into space and deliver research and commercial satellites to orbit. Launchers provide the only way to conduct scientific research and ensure commercial utilisation of space.
The future European launcher Ariane 6 will debut in 2020. In order for it to bring all its payloads safely to their orbits, the engines for the new launcher must first be extensively tested. To test the upper stage of the new launcher, a new test rig will be built at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) site in Lampoldshausen.