Europe’s Ariane 6 Rocket Aces Full-Scale Trial for Maiden Flight
Story Code : 1098228
In a significant milestone, the Ariane 6 successfully concluded a major full-scale rehearsal on Friday.
Developed by Arianespace for the European Space Agency, the Ariane 6 underwent a complete launch countdown during the trial, followed by a seven-minute firing of the core stage’s engine.
The test simulated a real launch scenario, excluding booster ignition, ensuring the rocket remained grounded at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.
According to the European Space Agency, the test emulated the core stage's functioning in a typical space flight, with the main engine shutting down before the upper stage taking over propulsion.
The trial, involving the longest full-stack run for Ariane 6’s lower liquid propulsion module with a Vulcain 2.1 engine, received high praise from ESA’s Director General Josef Aschbacher.
Aschbacher hailed the successful trial as a remarkable achievement, recognizing the extensive efforts invested across all mission aspects, from design and planning to preparation and construction, involving Europe’s top space engineers.
With nearly 150 tons of propellant used in the Vulcain 2.1 engine’s tanks—liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen—the Ariane 6 core stage demonstrated extreme conditions, with the liquid hydrogen tank supercooled to temperatures below -250°C.
The Ariane 6 marks an advancement from the earlier Ariane 5, featuring the upgraded Vulcain 2.1 engine known for its simplified design and cost-effective technology, a move that enhances performance while reducing expenses, as explained by ESA.