The site of the future Ariane 6 launch pad, four kilometres north-west of the ELA 3 launch complex, is a hive of activity.
With the benefit of its 50 years of experience, CNES’s Launch Vehicles Directorate (DLA) will thus be developing a 9th launch pad in French Guiana, the 4th for Ariane.
The design concept for the Ariane 6 launch pad has drawn on lessons learned from all of these previous pads, with the emphasis on making it modular and simple.
The challenge is to gear up to meet the evolving needs of a highly competitive market. The design heritage of Ariane 5 ECA, Ariane 5 ME and Vega is thus helping to limit risks, reduce costs and shorten development cycles.
The launch pad is 4 kilometres north-west of Ariane 5’s ELA 3 launch complex and covers an area of roughly 170 hectares. Its location is ideal for launches in all eastward and northward directions, while minimizing range safety constraints during the first minutes of the launcher’s flight.
Tuesday 11 July, teams from SEH (a subsidiary of Eiffage Métal) erected the first structural elements of Ariane 6’s BAL launcher assembly building.
The BAL is a metal-frame building that is 20.55 metres high, 116 metres long and 50 metres wide.
It is divided into a staging zone for launcher containers and an integration zone.
Modelled on the Soyuz MIK integration building, the BAL assembly building will enable the two cryogenic stages, the lower liquid propulsion module (LLPM) and the upper liquid propulsion model (ULPM) to be integrated horizontally to form the central core of the Ariane 6 launcher
Once assembled, this central core will be transported by road to the launch pad 83 metres away.
The BAL will be able to accommodate two central cores, one being integrated and one in storage.