DAVID PARKER FOR ESA / CNES / ARIANESPACE / / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID PARKER FOR ESA / CNES / ARIANESPACE / / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ariane 5 production. Engineers supervising the welding of a fuel tank for an Ariane 5 launcher. The tank is made of 3mm-thick aluminium. The welding device (star-shaped object at centre) rotates inside the tank, allowing a continuous, seamless weld to be made. The integrity of the weld is crucial, as the cryogenic tanks form the load-carrying structure of the first stage of the launcher. The stage contains two tanks, one for liquid hydrogen and the other for liquid oxygen, sharing a common bulkhead. The interior of the liquid hydrogen tank is seen here. Photographed at the Cryospace factory, Les Mureaux, France.
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