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For launch pads with cryogenic fluid production capacity

Air Liquide's HELIAL and HYLIAL liquefiers enable the production of liquid helium and hydrogen respectively, directly on the launch pad.

Ariane 5's cryogenic stage requires huge quantities of helium: two fixed storage tanks with a capacity of 100,000 liters each were installed by Air Liquide in Kourou, in order to clean, condition, and to pressurize the rocket's tanks and cryogenic lines on the ground, before filling them with oxygen or liquid hydrogen. To prevent the loss of helium, which is highly volatile, the Kourou Space center boasts a HELIAL that recovers cool helium vapor in the tanks on the ground in order to reinject it in liquid form. HELIAL also helps to depressurize helium transportation tanks, to limit losses during transfer from the trailer to the storage tank.

Several space centers have acquired our HYLIAL to supply launch vehicles with liquid hydrogen. The Xichang center, in the Province of Sechuan, and the Wenchang center, on Hainan island, both acquired hydrogen liquefiers, allowing them to produce liquid hydrogen on site. Previously, the cryogenic fuel was transported to the space centers in special convoys over thousands of kilometers.

Why choose us?

  • 01

    Our experience

    We have worked on all the developments for the European launch vehicle, Ariane, as well as numerous international projects, including the International Space Station; the Planck, Herschel, and Microscope satellites; and the Curiosity and ExoMars exploration rovers, among others.

  • 02

    The expertise of our teams

    Our employees are passionate about their work. Our results-minded approach and wealth of expertise have allowed us to make great strides and are now leading us to even more ambitious technological challenges, from launch vehicles with reignition capability and electric propulsion for satellites, to life on Mars...

  • 03

    Our capacity for innovation

    Our innovation teams rely on Air Liquide's expertise and close collaborations with public research laboratories, like the CEA, the CNRS, and the Grenoble University Space Center.