“Last straight line” before take off

It’s not over yetAbove, removeBut the countdown has begun: the Ariane 6 rocket, which allows Europe to stay in space competition, starting final test before its first flight, has been postponed to 2023.

When assembled at the Kauro space base in French Guiana, the central part of the launcher must be “Next week“For this at a brand new firing point 800 meters away.”Combined trial“These tests are related to the rocket and its launch set.”The last straight lineExplanation of a program launched in 2014, during a recent visit to the European Space Agency’s (ESA) director of space transport, Daniel Neuwenchwender, in Cairo.

Already 29 launches have been sold

Arian 6, which will cost around 4 billion euros, Europe must adapt to the intense competition of American SpaceX. The rocket is planned to be 40% less expensive than the Ariane 5 and, above all, versatile. A version with two lateral thrusters (boosters), the Aryan 62, would allow it to carry the Russian Soyuz rocket, whose firing from Guyana was intercepted by the Ukrainian invasion. Another Ariane 5 with four boosters will replace the heavy launcher.

It will be able to launch large satellites into geostationary orbit at 36,000 kilometers, for which it was designed in 2014, as well as “Constellations that have already emerged“Stefan welcomes Israel, the president of Arianspace, the company in charge of its operations. Also, “Although the Ariane 6 has not yet flown, it is recording commercial success“29 launches have already been sold in the Kuiper constellation of the Amazon, including more than 18 hundred small satellites.

The Ariane 6 and its launch pad were designed to be able to run 12 launches per year in two weeks between two launches, while it takes 6 times for the Ariane 5, which was launched only five or six times a year.

“Cryogenic Weapons”

For this, the entire industrial architecture has been redesigned: the body of the launcher is mounted horizontally and not vertically, assembled directly on the launch pad with fairings and boosters, protected from the mobile gantry, which overhangs the Guyanese canopy. From its 90 meters high. And “We have recently successfully passed a stage in the testing of cryogenic weapons that makes it possible to bring fuelFrank Huiban, director of the Aryan Group’s civil program, added.

These disconnect from the rocket at launch and never before. This makes it easier to remove the rocket in the event of a canceled launch and makes it easier to reconfigure the rocket in two days than three weeks for the Ariane 5. There is still a lot to be testedQualifications“System from control room to the top of the rocket, whose engine has not yet been reconstructed.”Fire test“In Germany.

‘More Than Expected’

In Kauro, during the combined test, “We will test all operational procedures“With”Down mode“The construction helmet on his head, Frank Huiban explained. The idea is to reproduce a flight without rocket flight. This will result in a number of Volken 2.1 engines firing, “he said.A first short ignition, then a long one, representative of a flightFrom the main floor, or 500 seconds, according to him.

We have a bomb on the launch pad, we need to make sure we have control of the launcher6, another representative of Aryan Group explained on condition of anonymity. The first launch of the Ariane 6 was initially planned for 2020, then for the end of 2022 before being postponed to 2023. Stephen for Israel, “Some things take longer than expected but we do not end up with a technical finish, large parameters are mastered“It’s not uncommon for a program of development to be reassuring, but also reassuring to Daniel Neuenschwander.”Several milestones will have to be crossed by mid-July“The head of the ESA says he will contact a new calendar on July 13, himself.”Are assembled at the end of September

There is no question that the inaugural launch will end on the mat. The last two dates are 1996 (Ariane 5) and 2012 (Vega), “One has been good, the other has not“, He recalls hinting at an explosion on the first Aryan 5 flight.”If we need more time, we will take it.A

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