Get 40% Off
⚠ Earnings Alert! Which stocks are poised to surge?
See the stocks on our ProPicks radar. These strategies gained 19.7% year-to-date.
Unlock full list

Europe's new Ariane 6 rocket to launch June 15-July 31, 2024

Published 11/30/2023, 03:24 AM
Updated 11/30/2023, 03:55 AM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A worker of Ariane Group stands in front of a Ariane 6 rocket's Vulcain 2.1 engine, prior to the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron, in Vernon, France January 12, 2021. Christophe Ena/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Europe's new Ariane 6 rocket will stage an inaugural flight between June 15 and July 31 in 2024, the European Space Agency said on Thursday.

The keenly awaited window for the first test flight came after a test model of the new rocket passed a key long-firing engine test in French Guiana last week.

ESA nations agreed in 2014 to develop Ariane 6 in response to growing competition in the commercial launch market but its arrival, originally due in 2020, has been repeatedly delayed.

"I am really happy to make this announcement today because it shows that we are on the good track to flight access to space for Europe," ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher told a news conference.

The maiden flight will carry some smaller satellites, including two from NASA, but since it is still considered a test flight, it will not carry "a major payload", ESA added.

The ESA will carry out a few additional tests before the launch to make sure the design is "fault tolerant".

The ESA said it planned a second flight by the end of 2024 and would ramp up further in 2025 to reach a target of 9-10 flights per year.

The launcher is being developed by ArianeGroup, a joint venture between Airbus and Safran (EPA:SAF), in order to better compete with U.S. private launch provider SpaceX.

Its predecessor, Ariane 5, flew for the last time in July and the smaller Vega C remains grounded following a failure in December last year, leaving Europe without independent access to space. Russia blocked European use of its Soyuz rockets last year in response to Western sanctions over Ukraine.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A worker of Ariane Group stands in front of a Ariane 6 rocket's Vulcain 2.1 engine, prior to the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron, in Vernon, France January 12, 2021. Christophe Ena/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Last week's test at the European spaceport in French Guiana involved igniting the core-stage Vulcain 2.1 engine and then running it for seven minutes, which is about the time it would take for the launcher to reach space.

Aschbacher said last month he hoped to be able to announce a launch window for an inaugural flight to be held in 2024, depending on the results of the engine test.

Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.