Airbus Defence and Space

Ariane 5 ES sends the ATV on its way to the ISS: the first success of a double Airbus Defence and Space event

Kourou, Sunday 9 March 2008 – At 5.03 a.m. CET, an Ariane 5 ES placed the 19.4 tonnes of the ATV Jules Verne into orbit at the very first attempt.

François Auque, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space said: “Following Columbus, this is a new major event that we are now experiencing with lift off of the ATV. This successful Ariane launch represents the first part of a double event, Airbus Defence and Space being also single prime contractor for Ariane 5. This adaptation mission of Ariane 5 has been by far the most complex ever set up, involving four years of intensive work!” ...

François Auque, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space said: “Following Columbus, this is a new major event that we are now experiencing with lift off of the ATV. This successful Ariane launch represents the first part of a double event, Airbus Defence and Space being also single prime contractor for Ariane 5. This adaptation mission of Ariane 5 has been by far the most complex ever set up, involving four years of intensive work!”

Orbit injection of the ATV called for a specially adapted version of the Ariane 5 launcher developed and produced by Airbus Defence and Space. This Ariane 5 ES has a reignitable EPS upper stage, a strengthened VEB, and a specifically redeveloped flight programme. This re-ignition capability, required to inject the ATV into an orbit from which it can reach the ISS, was first demonstrated in flight in October 2007. The re-ignitable upper stage functioned flawlessly, and positioned the ATV on the target flight path.

This successful lift-off is only the beginning of the ATV mission. As Nicolas Chamussy, Director of the Programme, reminded us: “We have just begun the first of the five major phases of the mission. After the initial operations in orbit, the ATV will start the orbital flight phase which will take it to the ISS. This will be followed by the extremely delicate rendezvous and docking phases, and then a period during which the securely docked ATV will be a fully-fledged module of the ISS. The Jules Verne mission will end with de-docking, de-orbiting and finally destruction of the vehicle in the dense layers of the atmosphere.” The various control centers, including the dedicated ATV control centre in Toulouse, are now fully operational for monitoring the mission. They are supported by Airbus Defence and Space as conception master and engineering support.

Airbus Defence and Space, a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2006, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover of €3.2 billion and 12,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Airbus Defence and Space for launchers and orbital infrastructure, and Airbus Defence and Space for spacecraft and ground segment, and its wholly owned subsidiary Airbus Defence and Space for the development and delivery of satellite services.

AIRBUS Group is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2006, AIRBUS Group generated revenues of €39.4 billion and employed a workforce of more than 116, 000.

 

Media Contacts:

Jeremy Close (Airbus Defence and Space UK) Phone: +44 (0)1 438 77 3872

Mathias Pikelj (Airbus Defence and Space GER) Phone: +49 (0) 7545 8 91 23

Francisco Lechon (Airbus Defence and Space ESP) Phone: +34 (0) 91 586 37 41

http://www.space-airbusds.com

International Space StationISSAriane 5ATV