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Cryogenic propellant tanks

Liquid methane could replace hydrogen in the future. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, methane has a significantly higher condensation temperature than hydrogen. It is close to that of oxygen, which makes it easier to use. Moreover, methane has a higher density than hydrogen, which makes it possible to use smaller tanks. Thanks to this expertise, we are already planning new trials: a HX2 demonstrator and a Cryofenix 2 sounding rocket.

A long term involvement with the Ariane program

Since the start of the Ariane program, Air Liquide has been involved in the evolution of successive generations of launch vehicles in close collaboration with the European Space Agency and the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (French National Space Studies Center). We are responsible for the launch vehicles' liquid hydrogen and oxygen storage tanks, from their design to their integration.

Today, Air Liquide Advanced Business & Technologies produces Ariane 5's second stage liquid oxygen tanks in Sassenage. EuroCryospace, a partnership between Air Liquide and Airbus Defence & Space, produces the first stage propellant tanks and the second stage liquid hydrogen tanks in Les Mureaux.

Tomorrow, Ariane 6 will head into space. We will pursue the adventure through innovation, studies, and experiments. Our objective? To guarantee the ideal conditions for the launch vehicle's future engine to shut down and reignite after a ballistic phase. That's the aim of the Cryofenix sounding rocket flight, which analyzed the behavior of liquid hydrogen in microgravity, and tests on the HX demonstrator. This will result in the approval of 14 technologies developed by Air Liquide and EuroCryospace!