The debut launch of the Ariane 6 heavy rocket is scheduled for July 9

by alex

Ariane 6 will replace the venerable Ariane 5, which has completed more than 100 successful launches

The European Space Agency (ESA) and ArianeGroup announced that the first-ever launch of the Ariane 6 heavy-lift rocket will take place on July 9 from the spaceport in French Guiana. The launch will be the culmination of years of work and will mark a new era of independent European access to space.

Ariane 6 — It is a two-stage launch vehicle with solid rocket boosters. Its reusable upper stage will allow the launch of several satellites in different orbits during a single launch. The rocket will replace Ariane 5, which ceased operations last July after more than 100 successful missions.

Ariane 6 was originally scheduled to launch in 2020, but technical problems, the COVID-19 pandemic and design changes led to delays. The launch date was officially announced at the ILA Berlin Airshow on June 5, but the exact launch time has not yet been announced.

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«I would like to thank the teams for their tireless work and dedication during this final stage of the first launch campaign. Ariane 6 — this is a modern European rocket, adaptable to our future ambitions», — said ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher.

Before the launch there will be tests with refueling and a dress rehearsal for the countdown on June 18.

«This flight will be the culmination of many years of development and testing by ArianeGroup and its partners throughout Europe. The result will improve efficiency and open up commercial use of Ariane 6 within the next two years», — said Martin Sion, CEO of ArianeGroup.

The first flight of Ariane 6 will be primarily a demonstration flight, but it will also carry a commercial payload into orbit. If successful, Ariane 6 could begin its second flight before the end of the year. The rocket is expected to carry out about 10 launches per year.

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