ESA successfully burns Ariane 6 first stage

by alex

Ariane 6: cost-effective and reusable already in 2024

The European Space Agency (ESA) conducted a successful burn of the first stage of the Ariane 6 booster. The test burned approximately 150 tons of fuel during a seven-minute burn. While initial forecasts suggested eight minutes, the actual time was one minute shorter.

The burning test took place at the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana, which has long served as a base for launching European space systems. As part of this test, a simulated launch of the first stage was carried out, without separation and ignition of the boosters. In turn, the second stage was primed to ensure structural strength. This approach is a common practice to maintain rocket stability during testing.

The Ariane 6 rocket will be available in two versions: A62 and A64. The A62 version will be equipped with two horizontal solid fuel boosters, while the A64 version will have four such stages. Ariane 6's maximum payload to low-Earth orbit (LEO) will be about 20,000 kilograms, and to geostationary orbit (GEO) about 11,000 kilograms.

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One of the main goals of Ariane 6 is to provide Europe with independent access to space launches. The rocket will play a key role in both commercial, government and scientific missions of ESA and its partners. Ariane 6 is designed to be cost-effective and reusable components and accelerators.

Ariane 6 is expected to launch in 2024, although a detailed schedule will be determined once additional tests are completed. In addition, a static fire test of the Ariane 6 second stage engine is also planned in Germany to confirm flight readiness. Finally, final assembly and testing of the rocket will take place in South America at Arianespace's manufacturing facilities.

The European launch market is in crisis due to delays, disruptions and political changes. The recovery of Vega C launches in October has led to an increase in activity, and the launch of Ariane 6 may help overcome this crisis.

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