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New photos from Kourou of the combined tests on the fairing of Europe’s new launcher
The maiden flight of Ariane 6 – Europe’s new generation launcher – is approaching, with this new and crucial step for the new fairing.
This test, called the “Dummy Payload Encapsulation Test” (DPET), was a veritable dress rehearsal of the integration procedures for the upper part of the launcher. This is a means of checking that the electrical and mechanical equipment is all functional and that the operations can be run without a hitch.
One of the key moments was thus the encapsulation of the mock-up representing a payload, inside the fairing which stands 20m high and has a diameter of 5.4 m.
Fine-tuning digital procedures ©ArianeGroup – Antoine Letellier
The operations, run by ArianeGroup and the French space agency (CNES) for the European Space Agency (ESA), were carried out smoothly on the new integration dock designed especially for Ariane 6 at the spaceport in French Guiana.
Removal of the “strongback” frame after closure of the fairing ©ArianeGroup – Antoine Letellier
Testing will continue on the new launcher in the coming months and new pictures will soon be available.