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Ariane 6 Rocket Targets July 9 for Inaugural Launch

Ariane 6
Ariane 6. Credit: ArianeGroup

Ibadan, 6 June 2024. – The Ariane 6 Task Force, including ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher, ArianeGroup CEO Martin Sion, CNES CEO Philippe Baptiste and Arianespace CEO Stéphane Israël, has announced that it is targeting July 9 for Ariane 6’s inaugural launch. The Task Force made the announcement at the ILA Berlin Air Show in Germany. Walther Pelzer, Director General of the German Space Agency at DLR, was also present at the announcement.

Ariane 6 is Europe’s new heavy lift launch vehicle replacing its predecessor, Ariane 5. Modular and agile, Ariane 6 has a reignitable upper stage allowing it to launch multiple missions on different orbits on a single flight.

For its development, ESA is the Launch System Architect working with prime contractor ArianeGroup to develop the launch vehicle and with CNES to develop the ground segment. Furthermore, ESA is responsible for the inaugural flight while Arianespace will market and operate the launcher for institutional and commercial customers for subsequent flights.

Josef Aschbacher said: “I am glad to announce that the first launch attempt will be on 9 July. I thank the teams on the ground for their tireless hard work, teamwork and dedication in this last stretch of the inaugural launch campaign. This powerful rocket is the culmination of many years of dedication and ingenuity from thousands across Europe, and as it launches, it will re-establish Europe’s independent access to space.”

Likewise, Martin Sion, explained, “The announcement of the scheduled date for Ariane 6’s first flight puts us on the home stretch of the launch campaign and we are fully engaged in completing the very last steps.” The CEO also added, “This flight will mark the culmination of years of development and testing by the teams at ArianeGroup and its partners across Europe.

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