It was a model start as the 200th Ariane launcher sent the Automated Tansfer Vehicle ATV2 into orbit yesterday. The European supply spacecraft named “Johannes Kepler” is now on its way to the International Space Station, intended to deliver food, fuel and general supplies. With a total mass of more than 20 tons, this was the heaviest payload ever carried by an Ariane 5 launcher.
Aerospace supplier MT Aerospace of Augsburg, Germany, contributed key elements to the success of this mission: The technology company not only manufactured tanks and components for the Ariane launcher – approximately 10 percent of the launcher hardware – but also delivered essential components for the ATV.
As in the first ATV mission in 2008, important elements of the supply spacecraft were developed and manufactured in Augsburg, for example propellant tanks, gas and water tanks as well as major parts of the load-carrying structure. The ATV is the only vehicle being able to boost the space station into a higher orbit, which is a crucial pre-requisite to keep the ISS in operation.
„We are involved in this mission with a variety of innovative products” said Hans Steininger, CEO of the MT Aerospace AG. “Especially our propellant tanks for the Ariane 5 EPS upper stage and the ATV tanks are manufactured using the innovative spinforming method.”
The spinforming method patented by MT Aerospace allows the precise manufacture of light-weight tank shells in just one step. In the future, this technique is also to be used for the production of large propellant tanks.
MT Aerospace AG
The Executive Board