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Thales Alenia Space Picked for Ariane 6 Range Safety System

By | February 2, 2016
      Ariane 6 ESA

      Artist’s rendition of the Ariane 6 rocket. Photo: ESA

      [Via Satellite 02-02-2016] Airbus Safran Launchers (ASL) has signed a contract with Thales Alenia Space Belgium on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA) to participate in development of the range safety system for Ariane 6, including a qualification launch.

      The main function of the range safety system is to neutralize the launcher if its trajectory endangers people or property. The system’s core units, designed and built by Thales Alenia Space Belgium, will be used in conjunction with other components, shared by the Ariane 5, Vega and Soyuz launchers, to form the entire range safety system.

      ESA approved the Ariane 6 and Vega C next generation rockets at its ministerial-level council meeting in December 2014. Two versions of this launch vehicle are planned: Ariane 6.2, with two strap-on solid boosters, mainly intended for government satellites; and Ariane 6.4, with four strap-on boosters, capable of dual launches and mainly intended for commercial payloads. The first launch of Ariane 6 is planned for 2020.