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ESA prepares for initiation launch of Ariane 6
Space Travel and Exploration Tech
Jul 7, 2024
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Space Travel and Exploration Tech

Space Travel and Exploration Tech

Jul 7, 2024

ESA prepares for initiation launch of Ariane 6

Product updates
Industry news

  • The European Space Agency (ESA) and Arianespace are making preparations for the debut of the Ariane 6 rocket, which is planned for the second week of July 2024. The Ariane 6 will have its first of two planned launches from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana about 4 kilometers from the previous Ariane 5's launch pad.

  • Once Ariane 6 is functional, it will be primarily handled by Arianespace for commercial use starting with its second launch, and the ESA will continue to support government mission requirements. The first launch will serve as a rideshare mission for a collaboration of companies, agencies, and researchers. There are four deployers on board the rocket, and nine satellites and two reentry capsules will be deployed in the payloads. The reentry capsules will not be recovered due to cost implications.

  • Flying under the “Ariane 62” designation, the rocket will launch with two rocket boosters, each providing ~787,000 pounds of thrust and using a combination of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. Five fixed payloads will remain attached to Ariane 6's upper stage, including Young Professionals Satellite (YPSat), a satellite aimed to document the ~180-minute-long mission through recorded videos. NASA's CUbesat Radio Interferometry Experiment (CURIE) satellite will also launch abroad Ariane 6.

  • After its certification, Arianespace plans to launch the rocket's second flight in December 2024. It also plans six Ariane 6 launches in 2025 followed by eight further launches in 2027. The first liftoff in 2024 follows the rocket's multiple postponements since its initial planned launch in 2020. Among its delays, the ESA announced in October 2022 that the Ariane 6 would launch in Q3 2023, but that was postponed as well.

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