Facilitating Access
to space

Airbus Safran Launchers (ASL) was created as a 50/50 joint venture by Safran and Airbus Group to ensure the continued world-class performance of the European space industry. In August 2015 the European Space Agency (ESA) awarded ASL the development contract for the new Ariane 6 launcher, to be produced in two versions, Ariane 62 and Ariane 64. The first launch of Ariane 6 is planned in 2020.

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Ariane 5

Ariane 5 launches in 2015, all successful


Mirror segments for the E-ELT giant telescope


Safran has signed a contract with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) to produce 12 optical segments for the M4 mirror on the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). Located in Chile, the E-ELT will see “first light” in 2024.

Electric propulsion for satellites

The PPS®1350 and PPS®5000 plasma thrusters, developed by Safran for telecom satellites, offer considerable weight savings compared with conventional chemical propulsion systems.

Safran won two new contracts for these thrusters in 2015, clearly indicating the benefits of electric propulsion for satellite manufacturers and operators alike. The PPS®1350 thruster was chosen by Space Systems Loral (SSL), the world’s leading maker of telecom satellites, while our PPS®5000 thruster was selected by Airbus Defence and Space for its new Eurostar E3000 EOR (electric orbit raising) platform.
Learn more about electric propulsion.

A successful atmospheric reentry for IXV


Safran’s ceramic matrix composites (CMC) largely proved their effectiveness during the atmospheric reentry of the IXV (Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle) technology demonstrator on February 11, 2015. The IXV marks the first step towards a European reusable space vehicle.

©Esa-David Ducros,2015
©ESO/L. Calçada
©ESA–S. Corvaja, 2015