PTS wins major contract within the further development of Ariane 6

Berlin, December 21, 2021 – Berlin-based aerospace company PTS has been awarded a large and prestigious development contract by ArianeGroup to supply one of the core elements of the further development of the Ariane space program: PTS is developing the electronics and operating system for the ASTRIS Kick Stage

This additional upper stage complements the new European Ariane 6 launcher. The ASTRIS Kick Stage will further increase the versatility of Ariane 6 by providing higher payload capacities and enhanced performance for certain missions. Enabling new mission profiles, including the launch of satellite swarms, missions to the Moon or deep space, as it will make for reduction in spacecraft complexity and the risks inherent in orbit injection. This again strengthens Ariane 6’s chances on the market. 

Latest stackable small-form factor On-board computer developed by PTS for the ALINA lunar lander
André Radloff, Chief Executive Officer of PTS: “This challenging contract gives us the opportunity to demonstrate the reliability and innovative power of PTS as an experienced partner in spaceflight to advance our vision of exploring neighboring celestial bodies and planets in the long term”.

Robert Boehme, the founder of PTS adds “For us it is a great honor and opportunity that the space agency ESA and ArianeGroup as a long-term partner both entrust us with this important core element of the ASTRIS Kick Stage”. 

The ASTRIS Kick Stage on-top of the Ariane 6 rocket
As ESA’s prime contractor, ArianeGroup is developing the Ariane 6 rocket and the ASTRIS Kick Stage. The development of both the Ariane 6 upper stage and the Kick Stage are being led by ArianeGroup Bremen. In July this year, ArianeGroup was awarded a €90 million contract by ESA for the ASTRIS Kick Stage program with the aim of further increasing the versatility of Ariane 6 and its performance in new types of missions. PTS is the largest subcontractor within the ASTRIS Kick Stage program and oversees the operating system and all electronics.
The ASTRIS Kick Stage in-orbit with a spacecraft such as the ESA HERA mission attached
The development contract also includes the budget for the realization of the first mission of the Kick Stage: With the so-called HERA mission, ESA will send a probe on its way to an asteroid with the help of the ASTRIS Kick Stage. Together with NASA, the aim is to explore methods of deflecting dangerous asteroids away from Earth in the future.

About Planetary Transportation Systems

As a close partner of the Zeitfracht Group, PTS offers cost-effective and reliable space technology. The company aims to develop in-space infrastructure and conduct its own space exploration missions. With its engineering team, PTS offers contract and development services in the space sector. Its customers include commercial clients as well as space agencies.

About ArianeGroup

ArianeGroup, as prime contractor for the European launcher families Ariane 5 and Ariane 6, is responsible for the entire production chain of the launchers – from design through the entire production chain to marketing via its subsidiary Arianespace. With approximately 7.500 highly skilled employees in France and Germany, ArianeGroup is a joint venture owned equally by Airbus and Safran. The Group is also the prime contractor for the French Navy’s ballistic launchers. ArianeGroup and its subsidiaries are globally recognized specialists in space equipment and propulsion systems, and their know-how is also applied in other industries. Group sales amounted to around €2.7 billion in 2020.

About the Zeitfracht Group

The Zeitfracht Group is a third-generation family business with more than 3,700 employees and headquarters in Berlin and Leipzig. The company is primarily active in logistics.