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Faces of Ariane 6: Three questions for Ralf Gatzweiler, Ariane 6 upper stage product manager 04-16-2021 | 3 minutes
Ralf Gatzweiler began his career in 2012 as a mechanical engineer. Today, as product manager, he is in charge of the development of the industrialization concept and the upper stage production line for Ariane 6. He talked to us about his project team’s achievements and how proud he is of this success.
What is your role in the Ariane 6 upper stage production?
To remain competitive in a rapidly growing spaceflight market, my main goal for the new launcher is to set up an efficient production line with optimized, high-quality processes, in order to meet demanding cost requirements and ambitious objectives.
Furthermore, I have worked closely with my team to adjust the existing Ariane 5 manufacturing processes and to integrate automated, profitable and environmentally friendly alternatives.
How do you feel about taking part in this exceptional program?
I am immensely proud of my project team and what we have achieved. Despite restrictions demanded by the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been able to get through every production stage and ultimately deliver the HFM (Hot Firing Model). It has not been easy but we succeeded thanks to tight collaboration.
What are your goals for the future?
I would love to work on several projects. ArianeGroup is developing new technologies, such as the Prometheus® reusable engine, the Themis reusable rocket stage demonstrator, and new-generation upper stage and launcher developments.
There are great achievements ahead to look forward to in the development and operation of Ariane 6. I am eager to be a part of it all and I am especially looking forward to the first launch of Ariane 6.
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