ESA and European industry are currently developing a new-generation launcher: Ariane 6. Ariane 6 will fly with a payload fairing made by Beyond Gravity. Copyright: ESA - D. Ducros.

Fairings made by Beyond Gravity.

Beyond Gravity can look back on more than 250 successful flights under the Ariane programme. Also the future Ariane 6 rocket flies into space with payload fairings made by Beyond Gravity.

At up to 17m in length, a payload fairing makes up around one third of the total length of an Ariane 5 launcher. The fairing is located on the upper part of the rocket and consists of two half-shells made of carbon fibre composites that split in space. These half-shells protect the payload - mostly satellites - from environmental influences during launch and flight through the Earth's atmosphere. The shell dampens launch noise, protects against heat and keeps dirt out. At an altitude of around 120km, the half-shells are separated from each other and from the rocket in a precisely controlled process.

Beyond Gravity has been supplying payload fairings for European launch vehicle programmes such as Ariane and Vega since the 1970s and is currently also developing the fairing for the future Ariane 6 rocket.