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19.12.2016 | RUAG Space

RUAG Space helps to map the expansion of the universe with a new contract

RUAG Space in Linköping has won a contract for an adapter for the launch of Euclid, Europe's second largest scientific satellite. Developed by the European Space Agency ESA, Euclid is set to give us a better understanding of the universe’s dark energy and matter by measuring the universe’s accelerating expansion.

Euclid is fitted with a 1.2 metre telescope, which together with photographic equipment will study up to two billion galaxies over a six-year period. Since the telescope will be studying objects some ten billion light years distant, it will provide a picture of the universe’s infancy. The project is developed by the European Space Agency ESA. Arianespace will launch it from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana in 2020 aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket. Euclid is part of ESA’s Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 scientific programme.

RUAG Space Linköping’s part in the Euclid project is to re-engineer an existing adapter that will sit between the Soyuz rocket and the Euclid satellite. The adapter also facilitates the separation of the satellite from the rocket once in space. The contract includes further assistance when the rocket’s airworthiness is audited, with responsibility for the integration of the satellite on the rocket in preparation for the launch. In order to eliminate risk at an early stage in the project, a test integration of the adapter and satellite will be carried out with the satellite manufacturer as early as 2017, which implies an immediate production start.

“One of the most critical moments in this mission is when the satellite separates from the rocket, which is why it feels extra special that the customer is putting so much trust in us. A scientific satellite is generally more valuable and in many ways more unique than the standard communications satellites that comprise the majority of our launches,” says Jörgen Remmelg, Director of RUAG Space in Linköping.