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Ariane 6 Inaugural Flight Attempt in July 2024

Ariane 6. Credit: ArianeGroup

Ibadan, 22 May 2024. – The Ariane 6 Launcher Task Force has announced that Ariane 6’s first launch attempt will happen within the first two weeks of July 2024, on track with the launch period it communicated in November. Furthermore, the task force will give the tentative date for the first launch attempt at the ILA airshow in Berlin, Germany, which will hold from 5 June to 9 June, where all the task force members will be present.

The next milestone towards the inaugural flight of the rocket is completing the final step of the launch system qualification. As a result, by June 30, the Ariane 6 launch system will receive approval to close all aspects of its qualification. Furthermore, the spacecraft’s upper composite, consisting of the launcher adapter, payloads and fairing for Ariane 6 flight model-1 will move from the encapsulation hall to the launch pad, marking another milestone completion in June. Finally, on June 18, flight operators will fuel the Ariane 6 on the launchpad and subsequently drain it of fuel in preparation for launch.

The Ariane 6 Launcher Task Force comprises top management of ESA as the Ariane 6 procuring entity and launch system architect. It includes the French space agency CNES as the launch base prime contractor, ArianeGroup as the launcher system prime contractor and Arianespace as the launch service provider. This group reports regularly on the progress they make towards the inaugural flight of the new launcher.
The new launcher is succeeding Ariane 5 as Europe’s heavy-lift launch system. Furthermore, Ariane 6’s upper-stage restart capability will help tailor Europe’s launch capability to the needs of multiple payload missions, for example, to orbit satellite constellations. This autonomous capability to reach Earth orbit and deep space also supports Europe’s navigation, Earth observation, scientific and security programmes

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