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INMESOL gensets at the EUROPEAN SPACE CENTRE IN KOUROU

An INMESOL genset model IV-440 has been installed at the concrete plant used in the construction of the Ariane 6 new launching pad, located at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guyana.

For the construction of the Ariane 6 rocket launching pad.

An INMESOL genset model IV-440 has been installed at the concrete plant used in the construction of the Ariane 6 new launching pad, located at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guyana.

440 kVA LTP genset at the concrete plat located in the Guiana Space Centre
440 kVA LTP genset at the concrete plat located in the Guiana Space Centre

This is a powerful stand-by generator set that ensures power supply in case of mains failure, preventing the potential interruption of the construction work for the new pad from where the Ariane 6 European space rocket will be launched. This first launch is planned for 2020.

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The Ariane 6 space shuttle, developed by the European Space Agency (ESA), is being manufactured in Paris and will be transported by ship from there to the European Space Centre in Kourou. Once the manufacturing is completed, it will become the newest member of the Ariane launch vehicles family. Its final design was selected at the ESA meeting at a ministerial level, in December 2014.

Infographic of the Ariane 6 design
Infographic of the Ariane 6 design

The Ariane 6 is expected to provide guaranteed access to space for Europe at a more competitive price than its predecessors through this new project. To accomplish this, the launch cost has been cut in half, and the technology from the reliable Ariane 5 engines has been reused in the construction process.

With a surface of 850 km2, the European Space Centre in Kourou or Guiana Space Centre is the centre used by the European Space Agency for launching its space rockets.

European Space Centre in Kourou or Guiana Space Centre
European Space Centre in Kourou or Guiana Space Centre

Located 500 km from the equator and at a 5º3’ latitude, it is a perfect spot for this kind of operations as Earth’s rotation provides a high inertial speed to the rocket when the trajectory is directed to the east, translating into less fuel requirements for putting it in orbit than if the launch is carried out from other enclaves.

Location map of the European Space Centre in Kourou or Guiana Space Centre
Location map of the European Space Centre in Kourou or Guiana Space Centre

The centre has 4 launching pads:

  • Vega Launching Pad (B): Previously known as ELA-1, it was the first launching pad for the Ariane rocket (The Ariane 1, Ariane 2, and Ariane 3 models, dismantled on 1989, were used).
    The pad is being adapted for use with the Vega launchers.
  • ZL2 (C): Previously known as ELA-2, it was used to launch the Ariane 4 up to (Dismantled on 2011).
  • Ariane Launching Pad (D): Previously known as ELA-3, it is still active for the Ariane 5.
  • Soyuz Launching Pad (F): Also known as ELS (Ensemble de Lancement Soyouz). This facility is used for launching Russian Soyuz-ST rockets since October 2011.
Launching pads location map. Image: Wikipedia
Launching pads location map. Image: Wikipedia