July 14, 2024

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Ariane 6 takes off on its first successful flight – DW – 09/07/2024

Ariane 6 takes off on its first successful flight – DW – 09/07/2024

The new missile Ariane 6 took off today (07/09/2024) In French Guiana from the Kourou spaceport on its inaugural flight, with which Europe regains its independence in launching into space.

This first mission will test the launcher, carrying among its payloads the RAMI satellite dispenser, from the Galician company UARX Space, a cubesat from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia or the CURIE experiment from NASA.

The first Ariane 6 flight took off an hour later than scheduled, a delay that the European Space Agency (ESA) had reported hours earlier due to a “minor problem” that had been resolved. “Today is a historic moment,” ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher said minutes before the launch from Kourou. “We are re-establishing Europe’s independent access to space.”

Countdown to Ariane 6

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Ariane 6, which opens a new era of autonomous European space transportation, focuses its design on versatility and modularity, allowing it to adapt to the needs of missions with multiple payloads and with the aim of reducing costs by 40%. Before its predecessor, Ariane 5.

The rocket is participated by 13 ESA countries, such as Spain (4.7%); France (55.6%), Germany (20.8%), Italy (7.7%) and around 600 European companies. With a more modular design, it can launch heavy and light payloads for Earth observation, communications, meteorology or science, in both institutional and commercial missions.

That’s why there are two versions: the twin-propeller A62, launched today, is 56 metres high; and the A64, which will start flying next year and is designed for heavy loads or long-haul destinations, has four propulsion engines and is 62 metres high.

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(Evie, AFP/Minnesota)