Ariane 6 ready for inaugural flight

July 9, 2024
The first launch of the new European launcher, Ariane 6, is scheduled for 9 July 2024, DLR reports.

LAMPOLDSHAUSEN, Germany - The new European launcher, Ariane 6, is scheduled to take off for the first time on 9 July 2024. It is intended to ensure Europe's independent access to space, just as efficiently as its predecessor, Ariane 5, except at a lower cost and with greater flexibility for the next decade and beyond. Germany is the second largest contributor to the European Space Agency's (ESA) Ariane 6 programme after France. German ESA contributions are coordinated by the German Space Agency at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) in Bonn. DLR is also significantly involved in the development of Ariane 6 through various engine tests and, in particular, the tests of the newly developed upper stage at the DLR Institute of Space Propulsion in Lampoldshausen, DLR reports.  Continue reading original article.

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

9 July 2024 -DLR says that this new rocket will primarily be used for launching institutional space missions, particularly those from the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Union, national space agencies, and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). Currently, 30 flights have been booked on the Ariane 6, including ESA's PLATO mission, which aims to search for Earth-like extrasolar planets in the Milky Way and is set to launch in 2026. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) has developed several camera sensors for this space telescope, which is being constructed by the German space industry. Additionally, Ariane 6 will launch Amazon's Kuiper mega-constellation. However, the first flight will initially carry 17 smaller payloads, including a re-entry demonstration capsule, a CubeSat deployer, and three small satellites from Germany.

"Independent European access to space is essential for our daily lives as well as for business and science. The acute launcher crisis in Europe has made us all the more aware of this. We now keep our fingers crossed for the first launch next week and thank the entire Ariane 6 team and everyone involved for their incredible efforts over the last few years. The launch of a new rocket is always a fascination, illustrating what humankind can achieve with excellent research and technology, and is thus an important inspiration for European hubs of innovation," emphasises Anna Christmann, Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy and Member of the Bundestag.

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Jamie Whitney, Senior Editor
Military + Aerospace Electronics

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