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Waspie_Dwarf

Liberty 2nd stage 1 step closer to production

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Liberty second stage one step closer to production

- ASTRIUM WORKING CLOSELY WITH ATK TO DELIVER THE SECOND STAGE OF THE LIBERTY COMMERCIAL LAUNCH VEHICLE ON SCHEDULE

- SUCCESSFUL TESTS ON TANK STRUCTURES DEMONSTRATE THAT KEY ARIANE 5 MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGIES CAN BE EVOLVED FOR USE ON THE LIBERTY SECOND STAGE

Jun 28, 2012

ARLINGTON, Va., June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Astrium, the number one company in Europe for space technologies and systems, has successfully completed a set of tests on tank structures proving that key design and manufacturing processes used for Ariane launchers are ready for production of the Liberty commercial launch vehicle second stage with ATK (NYSE: ATK).

Download film of the tests at: http://46.218.194.177/astrium/ASTRIUM_LIBERTY

The tests covering load-carrying cryogenic tanks demonstrate that existing Astrium processes can be leveraged to confirm the overall Liberty schedule and enable a speedy entry into service – and into orbit. Astrium is also working on leaner production processes for the second stage to bring best value to the Liberty launch vehicle.

Liberty is a complete commercial crew transportation service, including the spacecraft, abort system, launch vehicle, and both ground and mission operations, designed from inception to meet NASA's human-rating requirements with a planned first test flight in 2014 and Liberty crewed flight in 2015. Astrium, as a major subcontractor, will provide the second stage of the Liberty launch vehicle -based on the liquid-fuelled cryogenic core of the Ariane 5 vehicle powered by the Safran-built Vulcain 2 engine. The Ariane 5 launcher, for which Astrium is the Prime Contractor, was developed under the aegis of the European Space Agency and is operated by Arianespace. With 48 consecutive successful missions over nearly nine years, it is the world's most reliable launcher. This includes the launch of three Autonomous Transfer Vehicles to resupply the International Space Station in the last four years. During this time, the Ariane 5 has launched more commercial satellites into orbit than any other launch vehicle in the world.

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