Four cameras mounted on Ariane 5 during its lift-off on 5 June captured the separation of the ATV Albert Einstein in an innovative experiment.
Data from the STEREX experiment, funded by the German Aerospace Centre DLR and the European Space Agency (ESA), were transmitted to DLR’s ground station in Weilheim and presented first as a two dimensional video with the 3D version expected to be shown on DLR’s website in upcoming days.
As Ariane shoots up into the sky from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, the footage shows several minutes of hot fumes emanating from the rocket’s engine. Later, separation of the rocket’s propelling stages is clearly visible and after almost eight minutes, Ariane’s precious payload – the heaviest and most advanced cargo space ship ever – ATV4 Albert Einstein - separates smoothly and floats away into the darkness while the video ends with a short view of the Earth glowing in the distance.
"These images give us a new perspective on the dynamic processes taking place during the separation of the ATV from the Ariane, which will help us to better understand and analyse these processes," said DLR’s Thomas Ruwwe, admitting the team was pleased and relieved at the same time as the experiment provided the first footage of an Ariane launch taken on-board the rocket itself since 2006