Advanced Television

Ariane 6 update from ESA

March 27, 2024

In “early April” the European Space Agency (ESA) expects to integrate the second booster stage onto the giant Ariane 6 rocket in readiness for the craft’s crucial inaugural flight from French Guiana. The debut flight is scheduled for between June 15th – July 31st.

This pre-flight work is important and it is crucial that the rocket’s assembly goes according to plan. The programme, already significantly delayed, is not likely to carry a commercial payload until this coming winter. Ariane 6 was initially planned to begin flying in 2020 and replace the aging Ariane 5. Currently, Europe does not have an independent means of launching satellites – or humans – into space.

However, ESA says all is currently working to schedule. ESA says that during April the central core of the rocket will be moved from its launcher assembly building at the Kourou launch site, and lifted into its vertical launch position for further assembly work to be carried out.

The month of May will see the rocket’s cargo elements arrive ready for integration into the rocket.

Ariane 6 is an all-new design, created to succeed Ariane 5 as Europe’s heavy-lift launch system. With Ariane 6’s upper stage restart capability, Europe’s launch capability will be tailored to the needs of multiple payload missions, for example to orbit satellite constellations. This autonomous capability to reach Earth orbit and deep space supports Europe’s navigation, Earth observation, scientific and security programmes. Ongoing development of Europe’s space transportation capabilities is made possible by the sustained dedication of thousands of talented people working in ESA’s 22 Member States.

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