Animation of the first launch of the Ariane 6 rocket with two boosters.
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 and its reignitable Vinci engine, Europe’s launch capability will be tailored to the needs of multiple payloads, 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.
At over 60 metres tall, Ariane 6 will weigh almost 900 tonnes when launched with a full payload – roughly equivalent to one and a half Airbus A380 passenger aircraft.
Vinci, the upper stage engine of Ariane 6 fed by liquid hydrogen and oxygen, can be stopped and restarted multiple times – to place satellites into different orbits and then de-orbit the upper stage, so it is not left behind as hazardous debris in space.
For the development of Ariane 6, ESA is working with an industrial network of several hundred companies in 13 European countries, led by prime contractor ArianeGroup.
France’s space agency, CNES, is preparing the Ariane 6 launch facilities at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.
Credits: ESA – European Space Agency
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Hot-fire test of Ariane 6 core stage on launch pad
Ariane 6 upper stage installed for tests | Timelapse
Ariane 6 development: progress on all fronts
Ariane 6: Launchpad testing
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