SSC Sounding Rocket Tests Cryogenic Fuel for Ariane 6 – Satellite Today

Cryofenix sounding Ariane 6

Recovery of the Cryofenix sounding rocket. Photo: Marcus Lindh/SSC

[Via Satellite 02-25-2015] Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) has launched a Cryofenix sounding rocket from the Esrange Space Center in Sweden filled with liquid hydrogen to study the propellant’s behavior in microgravity. The French space agency CNES and partner Air Liquide Advanced Technologies conducted the experiment and will use the data to validate and refine simulation tools for the next generation Ariane 6 and other Ariane launchers, which are powered by liquid hydrogen.

The two-stage VSB30 rocket reached an apogee of 265 km, giving the payload six minutes in a microgravity environment. CNES and Air Liquide plan to use the data to secure the reliability of future cryogenic propellant tanks to optimize them for long satellite positioning phases. The test provides data to influence a future cryogenic rocket stage propelled by a re-ignitable engine that would make it possible to place two satellites in different orbits between two successive in flight re-ignitions.

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