Beyond Gravity Secures Contract to Produce Payload Fairings for New Ariane 6 European Launch Vehicle

Beyond Gravity Secures Contract to Produce Payload Fairings for New Ariane 6 European Launch Vehicle

Beyond Gravity wins an order to produce the payload fairings for ArianeGroup’s new Ariane 6 rocket. The new European launcher replaces Ariane 5, which was successfully launched over 100 times and has been in service since 1996. The Ariane 6 payload fairings, up to 20 meters high and 1800 kilograms light, are manufactured by Beyond Gravity at its Emmen site in Switzerland in a state-of-the-art, half-automated process. 

Beyond Gravity helps shape the next generation of European launch vehicles: For the new Ariane 6 rocket, the leading global supplier for the space industry will supply the payload fairings. Just recently, the company, which has produced the payload fairings for all missions since Ariane's first flight in 1979, successfully delivered the last structures from Emmen (Switzerland) for its predecessor, Ariane 5.

André Wall, CEO of Beyond Gravity: “We are proud to have been a close partner to ArianeGroup for decades and to continue our joint success story also for the next generation of launch vehicles. Over the years, Beyond Gravity has manufactured more than 250 payload fairings for the Ariane launcher rockets and was instrumental in the development of the new payload fairing for Ariane 6.”

“This contract with Beyond Gravity is a new and key step towards a strong Ariane 6 European team,” said Stephane Nogatchewsky, EVP Head of Procurement” ArianeGroup. “While the inaugural flight of Ariane 6 is getting closer and the industrial ramp-up is intensifying, this collaboration is a positive and critical milestone for the future of Ariane 6 operations. Also, unifying European actors is paramount to ensure further A6 industrial robustness, competiti­veness and preserve European autonomous access to space.”

The two variants of the Beyond Gravity Payload Fairing offer two different sizes and consist of two half-shells that separate once they reach orbit. Accounting for one-third of a launch vehicle’s total length and rising to the height of a six-story building, the 20 meters high larger variant (A64) safeguards the valuable cargo on its voyage to space. The smaller version is 14 meters high. Both versions have a 5.4-meter diameter, ensuring ample room for a variety of payloads. Thanks to the advanced carbon fiber composite design, the structure weighs only 1.8 to 2.6 tons and is therefore featherweight and stable at the same time.

“Rooted in a legacy of incremental inno­vation, our payload fairings are a testament to the strength, efficiency, and progressive ingenuity we continue to nurture at Beyond Gravity,” states Paul Horstink, Executive Vice President. "Our payload fairings stand as a formidable structure today, but we're not stopping there. Especially with the commercial market in mind, we are driving future innovations, such as further shortening lead times or exploring possibilities in reusability to redefine the boundaries of space exploration," said Paul Horstink.

State-of-the-art, cost-efficient production process:

In technical terminology, the rocket tops are called "payload fairings". Their main task is to protect the satellites from high temperatures, solar radiation, dust, moisture, or rain at the launch site before launch. In the first minutes of flight, it is primarily the noise, the enormous frictional heat and the mechanical stresses from which the payload fairings reliably protect the satellites encapsulated beneath them. In a semi-automated process, Beyond Gravity manufactures each half-shell in one piece from carbon fiber composite material that is "cured" in an industrial oven without the use of an autoclave. This reduces costs and speeds up production.

Ariane 6 Europe’s next-generation launch vehicle:

Ariane 6, a program of the European Space Agency (ESA), is a family of launchers designed to offer maximum flexibility to customers in the institutional and commercial markets. Due to its large volume under the payload fairing, Ariane 6 can perform classic single or dual launches as well as complex missions that meet new market requirements, such as launching satellites with electric propulsion or multiple launches of constellation satellites. The launcher will be available in two versions, depending on the mission: The Ariane 64 with four boosters can carry more than 12 tons into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) with a dual launch. The Ariane 62 with two boosters can carry more than 4.5 tons of payload into GTO or seven tons into SSO. 

Click here to learn more about European Space Agency's Ariane 6 program.

Click here to learn about Launcher Structures from Beyond Gravity.

Publisher: SatNow
Tags:-  Launch

GNSS Constellations - A list of all GNSS satellites by constellations


Satellite NameOrbit Date
BeiDou-3 G4Geostationary Orbit (GEO)17 May, 2023
BeiDou-3 G2Geostationary Orbit (GEO)09 Mar, 2020
Compass-IGSO7Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)09 Feb, 2020
BeiDou-3 M19Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M20Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M21Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M22Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 I3Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M23Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019
BeiDou-3 M24Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019


Satellite NameOrbit Date
GSAT0223MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0224MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0219MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0220MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0221MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0222MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0215MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0216MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0217MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0218MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Kosmos 2569--07 Aug, 2023
Kosmos 2564--28 Nov, 2022
Kosmos 2559--10 Oct, 2022
Kosmos 2557--07 Jul, 2022
Kosmos 2547--25 Oct, 2020
Kosmos 2545--16 Mar, 2020
Kosmos 2544--11 Dec, 2019
Kosmos 2534--27 May, 2019
Kosmos 2529--03 Nov, 2018
Kosmos 2527--16 Jun, 2018


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Navstar 82Medium Earth Orbit19 Jan, 2023
Navstar 81Medium Earth Orbit17 Jun, 2021
Navstar 78Medium Earth Orbit22 Aug, 2019
Navstar 77Medium Earth Orbit23 Dec, 2018
Navstar 76Medium Earth Orbit05 Feb, 2016
Navstar 75Medium Earth Orbit31 Oct, 2015
Navstar 74Medium Earth Orbit15 Jul, 2015
Navstar 73Medium Earth Orbit25 Mar, 2015
Navstar 72Medium Earth Orbit29 Oct, 2014
Navstar 71Medium Earth Orbit02 Aug, 2014


Satellite NameOrbit Date
NVS-01Geostationary Orbit (GEO)29 May, 2023
IRNSS-1IInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)12 Apr, 2018
IRNSS-1HSub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO)31 Aug, 2017
IRNSS-1GGeostationary Orbit (GEO)28 Apr, 2016
IRNSS-1FGeostationary Orbit (GEO)10 Mar, 2016
IRNSS-1EGeosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)20 Jan, 2016
IRNSS-1DInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)28 Mar, 2015
IRNSS-1CGeostationary Orbit (GEO)16 Oct, 2014
IRNSS-1BInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Apr, 2014
IRNSS-1AInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)01 Jul, 2013