ESA committee considers configuration options for successful launcher’s sixth incarnation, set to be revealed at end of JuneThe shape of Europe’s next launcher will be revealed as soon as end-June, with the selection of the configuration of the Ariane 6 rocket. The European Space Agency’s industrial policy committee is choosing between a variety of solid-fuel stage arrangements, in a bid to replace the Ariane 5 heavy lifter with a less-expensive and more flexible – but equally reliable – alternative for flight from the early 2020s. Speaking at the Paris air show, ESA director general Jean-Jacques Dordain said the move to solid fuel – rather than the liquid hydrogen and oxygen liquid motors that power Ariane 5 – represents a 10-year technology selection process. Ariane 6, approved for development by ESA member state space and industry ministers in a five-year budget deal set in November 2012, is a bid to maintain Europe’s leading position in launches of big telecommunications satellites and other heavy payloads with a modular rocket system that allows components to be built in advance, stored and assembled as needed. Today, each Ariane 5 must be tailormade for a specific payload. Separately, Alain Charmeau, chief executive of Ariane 5 and 6 prime contractor Astrium Space Transportation, says his key challenge is to reorganise the European space industry to develop and deliver Ariane 6 to a target launch price of about €75 million ($100 million) – that is, to be organised to work backwards from a market-competitive price rather than set a launch price based largely on the cost of manufacturing and development. NASA, said Charmeau, is the inspiration for this bold bid to reconfigure the European industry. By setting objectives rather than specifications, NASA is starting to benefit from private sector innovation. SpaceX and its Falcon 9 rocket is the most visible example. Cutting costs, adds Charmeau, is going to mean delivering vehicles with fewer people working in the supply chain. “This is the challenge,” he says.Meanwhile, Ariane 5 is being upgraded to add about a fifth to its payload capacity – to 12t. ESA’s industrial policy committee will next week sign contracts to see that work through to 2017, when the so-called Midlife Extension variant is due to fly, says Dordain. He hopes ESA member states – particularly France and Switzerland, who lead development of Ariane 5 and its payload fairing – will approve “a fairly small amount of money”, about €30 million, to engineer a slightly enlarged fairing volume, to accommodate electric propulsion units for satellites inside. These represent a significant advance in satellite control, and reduce the mass of fuel that must be launched to orbit.
Found a new version. Now with 5 boosters in the first stage instead of 3. In total there will be 6.From this video: <video snipped>
Are the three boosters in the first stage "row" linked together, or does the middle one have a different fuel layout to burn longer?
Quote from: Lars_J on 07/09/2013 06:16 PMAre the three boosters in the first stage "row" linked together, or does the middle one have a different fuel layout to burn longer?First stage has 3 Solids. Second stage 1 Solid. Third stage lox. (I hope they manage to keep all solids as equal as possible).
- €106 million contract for continued development of the Ariane 5 ME - €278 million contract for continued development of elements common to the Ariane 5 ME and Ariane 6 launchers - €30 million contract to kick off preliminary studies for Ariane 6 in 2013
The third contract is for the start of development studies for the Ariane 6 launcher, based on the concept selected in July.
Astrium will now press ahead with definition and feasibility studies on the future Ariane 6 European launcher. These studies aim to define the chosen concept and architecture of the Ariane 6 launcher and to specify its main characteristics prior to the start of its industrial development, in 2014.
The Ariane 6 and Ariane 5 ME launchers will both feature the same liquid-propulsion system in their upper stages, specifically the Vinci® engine, and largely the same fairing.
In early July (2013), seven months after ESA’s Ministerial Council decision (2012), the concept for the Ariane 6 vehicle was selected. On 1 October the Preliminary Requirements Review of the launch system began. The management plans and the preliminary specifications together with the technical and programmatic files of the concept were submitted for review. The review was concluded by the board on 6 November. The review involved European experts from Arianespace, Italy’s ASI space agency, France’s CNES space agency, the DLR German Aerospace Center and ESA. European customers also participated and contributed to the consolidation of the Mission Requirement Document, which will drive the development. The next step for the Ariane 6 project is the completion of a first Design Analysis Cycle, which is planned for the end of February, and which includes trade-offs for several subsystems. A second Design Analysis Cycle will start in March. The results of the second loop will feed the next ESA review: the System Requirements Review, planned for October–November 2014.
That's also at Sinnamary, as the ELS, right? Is it the site of the old digging?
A radically simplified European rocket manufacturing organization that cuts the number of companies involved in Ariane rocket construction by two-thirds and permits a next-generation Ariane 6 rocket to meet its aggressive cost targets will be presented to European governments in March, officials from the French space agency, CNES, said Jan. 6.
http://spacenews.com/article/launch-report/39905questions-swirl-around-future-of-europe%E2%80%99s-ariane-launcher-programFioraso’s remark, ... , may indicate that France is ready to consider alternative Ariane 6 configurations.Spacediver