Astrium and Air Liquide have announced the creation of a European strategic partnership called EuroCryospace. It is an extension of Cryospace, which was set up 25 years ago to develop and manufacture Ariane cryogenic fuel tanks. EuroCryospace will be focused on the development and manufacture of cryogenic fuel tanks, in particular the cryogenic fuel tank for the upper stage of the Ariane 5 ME.
The Ariane 5 midlife evolution (ME) programme, which was approved by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) at its 2008 Ministerial Council meeting, sets out to respond to the demands of the market by upgrading the Ariane 5 launcher, taking its capacity beyond that of the current Ariane 5 ECA and Ariane 5 ES. Further development phases should be approved at the next ESA Ministerial Council meeting, scheduled for the end of 2012.
The partnership agreement will lead to a new plant being built in Bremen, Germany, and the creation of around 40 jobs during the production phase. Located close to Bremen Airport, the site of the future factory was purchased last December, and the development and manufacturing plant should be operational by mid-2013, with the first fuel tanks delivered in 2014.