Herakles' contribution to space

Herakles (Safran) has built up its expertise over the last 40 years in the development and production of rocket engines, components and materials for the propulsion systems on the Ariane 5 and Vega launchers. Herakles also makes products for other launchers around the world, along with a large number of satellites.

Since the beginning of the European space program, Herakles has been involved in all versions of the Ariane launcher. In particular, through our subsidiary Europropulsion, we make the solid rocket motors (SRM) for the boosters on the heavy-lift Ariane 5 and the first stage (P80) of the Vega light launcher.

Herakles provides the following for these launchers:

  • Nozzles for the Vega P80 motor and the MPS motor on Ariane 5.
  • Part of the propellant grain for the solid rocket motors, via subsidiary Regulus.
  • Raw materials used to make solid propellants, and high-performance elastomers for the thermal lining.

Herakles also makes the nozzle for Snecma's Vinci cryogenic engine, that will power the upper stage of the next-generation Ariane 6.

We also provide high-precision pressure transducers for all European launchers and, via our subsidiary Pyroalliance, pyrotechnic ignition, stage separation and range safety systems for the Brazilian VLS launcher.

Herakles makes a wide range of satellite equipment as well, including liquid propellants, pyromechanisms, sensors, dimensionally-stable composite structures, and thermal protection systems based on thermostructural composites. 

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