Author Topic: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here.  (Read 384426 times)

Online russianhalo117

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Welcome to the Ariane 6 discussion thread. Please place your Ariane 6 discussions here.

Offline Nicolas PILLET

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First, please note that "Ariane 6" is NOT an official name.
The only official name of this project is "NGL" (Next-Gen Launcher).
Nicolas PILLET
kosmonavtika.com : The French site on Russian Space

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

First, please note that "Ariane 6" is NOT an official name.
The only official name of this project is "NGL" (Next-Gen Launcher).

Well CNES naming it the Ariane 6 on their website, materials and even events didn't help with the situation.  ;)

Honestly, the emerging of the common solid motor for the first and second stages for the proposed configuration has pushed me somewhat from strong opposition to almost neutral. Let's hope that it will be a cost effective launcher.....  :-\
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline baldusi

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From this and this post I've got a question:

So, they'll have a mobile integration tower, that will also enclose a fixed service tower (for H2, auxiliary gases, etc.). They did stated that they would integrate the lower three solids on a separate building. So I'm assuming it will have some sort of mobile bed? Or will the service tower and bed be integrated like the Atlas V's MLP?
BTW, I still don't see how will they scale down performance. Unless they can do a PPH with a single solid at the base.

Offline sdsds

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I still don't see how will they scale down performance. Unless they can do a PPH with a single solid at the base.

They're proposing 3xP135 + 1xP135 + a Vinci-based hydrolox stage as the highest performance configuration, right? And for lower performance they can instead fly with only 2xP135 as the first stage?

Then the only question is how to fill the gap between that configuration and the current Vega. An up-rated Vega using a single P135 seems possible.

Enrico Saggese [head of Italian space agency ASI] says moving [Vega] to the more robust P135 could be a greater challenge, requiring a larger diameter for the stage, a new payload adapter and changes to existing tooling and production processes.

“But if we have a P135 for the Ariane 6, this could be worked”

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_10_15_2012_p26-505016.xml&p=3
« Last Edit: 03/30/2013 02:13 AM by sdsds »
-- sdsds --

Offline Oli

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Something tells me this "thing" will never be built.

Offline spacediver

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Something tells me this "thing" will never be built.

Hopefully!!!

Spacediver

Offline spaceStalker

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Let assume that they don't build NGL.
Then what? Ariane 5 stays or new rocket? What rocket?

Offline woods170

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First, please note that "Ariane 6" is NOT an official name.
The only official name of this project is "NGL" (Next-Gen Launcher).

Hello Nicolas,

Analogy: the space shuttle was officially known as the space transportation system (STS). Yet everyone, including NASA referred to it primarily as "the space shuttle".

Technically, you are correct. This launcher is the NGL, and ESA is not (yet) officially referring to this as Ariane 6. Although.... Both CNES and the ESA director-general have, on multiple public occassions and interviews, referred to this launcher as Ariane 6.

So, Ariane 6 may not (yet) be the official name, it will eventually become the official name because everyone is already using that name.


Offline woods170

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Something tells me this "thing" will never be built.

Unsubstantiated. CNES is now in full gear behind it. This "thing"  as you call it, has a very high chance of becoming a reality. And despite the somewhat unconventional 'look' of the first stage it is still a rocket, not a "thing".
« Last Edit: 03/30/2013 07:40 PM by woods170 »

Offline woods170

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Let assume that they don't build NGL.
Then what? Ariane 5 stays or new rocket? What rocket?

New rocket. CNES won't settle for staying with Ariane 5 indefinitely.

Offline Oli

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Quote from: woods170
Unsubstantiated. CNES is now in full gear behind it. This "thing"  as you call it, has a very high chance of becoming a reality. And despite the somewhat unconventional 'look' of the first stage it is still a rocket, not a "thing".

Sure, CNES is fully behind it. I think this speaks volumes (from http://www.senat.fr/rap/r12-114/r12-1143.html, November last year):

Quote
D'après le CNES, le coût de production du lanceur Ariane 6 pourrait être très inférieur au coût d'un Ariane 5ME (70 M€ pour le premier - pour un lancement simple - contre 170 M€ pour le second - pour un lancement double).

D'après les auditions réalisées par vos rapporteurs, l'estimation des coûts et délais respectifs des deux lanceurs varie selon que l'on s'adresse aux partisans d'Ariane 5ME (Astrium, Safran) ou à ceux d'Ariane 6 (CNES, Arianespace).

Pour les premiers, Ariane 5ME entrerait en service assez rapidement (2017) et son coût de développement pourrait être limité à 1,2 Md€. En revanche, Ariane 6 ne pourrait être fiabilisée avant 2024 et son coût de développement serait de l'ordre de 5,5 Mds€.

Pour les seconds, Ariane 5ME arriverait en 2018 pour un coût d'environ 2 Mds€ ; et Ariane 6 en 2021 pour « seulement » le double (4 Mds€) mais apporterait une réponse durable aux questions posées par le marché, ce qui ne serait pas le cas du projet ME.

En septembre dernier, le CNES et les industriels (Astrium, Safran) ont élaboré une position commune, en vue de la réunion ministérielle de l'ESA de novembre. Cet accord suggère de poursuivre les programmes de développement des deux lanceurs en 2013 et 2014, d'ici à une prochaine réunion ministérielle de l'ESA, qui pourrait avoir lieu en 2014.

In english, CNES thinks 70m euros per launch is doable (vs. 170m for Ariane 5), wasn't the initial goal 40% less?

My interpretation: Arianespace thinks SpaceX and others can offer 6.5t to GTO at 70m euros in 2020+, so they need a launcher who can do that. Whether its doable remains to be seen.

Then it says cost estimates depend on who you ask. If you ask the industry (astrium, safran) dev. costs will be 5.5bn for Ariane 6, 1.2bn for Ariane 5 ME. If you ask CNES its 4bn for Ariane 6 and 2bn for Ariane 5 ME.

So why did they pick solids? IMO its because Arianespace/CNES want to control as much from the supply chain as possible, they don't trust the industry to deliver at low cost.

The problem is, CNES won't win a fight against the industry and the germans. Players like EuroCryoSpace will tell politicans how the loss of cryo knowhow will not only threaten space-related tech but also ITER, CERN (http://www.astrowatch.net/2012/09/air-liquide-worried-ariane-6-could.html) etc.

Maybe my interpretations are silly, maybe they are not. I don't see it happening (except they reach that 70m cost target).


« Last Edit: 03/31/2013 12:10 AM by Oli »

Offline woods170

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Sure, CNES is fully behind it. I think this speaks volumes (from http://www.senat.fr/rap/r12-114/r12-1143.html, November last year):

Quote
D'après le CNES, le coût de production du lanceur Ariane 6 pourrait être très inférieur au coût d'un Ariane 5ME (70 M€ pour le premier - pour un lancement simple - contre 170 M€ pour le second - pour un lancement double).

D'après les auditions réalisées par vos rapporteurs, l'estimation des coûts et délais respectifs des deux lanceurs varie selon que l'on s'adresse aux partisans d'Ariane 5ME (Astrium, Safran) ou à ceux d'Ariane 6 (CNES, Arianespace).

Pour les premiers, Ariane 5ME entrerait en service assez rapidement (2017) et son coût de développement pourrait être limité à 1,2 Md€. En revanche, Ariane 6 ne pourrait être fiabilisée avant 2024 et son coût de développement serait de l'ordre de 5,5 Mds€.

Pour les seconds, Ariane 5ME arriverait en 2018 pour un coût d'environ 2 Mds€ ; et Ariane 6 en 2021 pour « seulement » le double (4 Mds€) mais apporterait une réponse durable aux questions posées par le marché, ce qui ne serait pas le cas du projet ME.

En septembre dernier, le CNES et les industriels (Astrium, Safran) ont élaboré une position commune, en vue de la réunion ministérielle de l'ESA de novembre. Cet accord suggère de poursuivre les programmes de développement des deux lanceurs en 2013 et 2014, d'ici à une prochaine réunion ministérielle de l'ESA, qui pourrait avoir lieu en 2014.

In english, CNES thinks 70m euros per launch is doable (vs. 170m for Ariane 5), wasn't the initial goal 40% less?

My interpretation: Arianespace thinks SpaceX and others can offer 6.5t to GTO at 70m euros in 2020+, so they need a launcher who can do that. Whether its doable remains to be seen.

Then it says cost estimates depend on who you ask. If you ask the industry (astrium, safran) dev. costs will be 5.5bn for Ariane 6, 1.2bn for Ariane 5 ME. If you ask CNES its 4bn for Ariane 6 and 2bn for Ariane 5 ME.

So why did they pick solids? IMO its because Arianespace/CNES want to control as much from the supply chain as possible, they don't trust the industry to deliver at low cost.

The problem is, CNES won't win a fight against the industry and the germans. Players like EuroCryoSpace will tell politicans how the loss of cryo knowhow will not only threaten space-related tech but also ITER, CERN (http://www.astrowatch.net/2012/09/air-liquide-worried-ariane-6-could.html) etc.

Maybe my interpretations are silly, maybe they are not. I don't see it happening (except they reach that 70m cost target).

Your interpretations are not silly, they are however somewhat out-of-touch with reality.

First:
Many launchers in-development have become more expensive once the people involved really started cracking the numbers. For example: Ariane 5 originally was not supposed to need any subsidies. But currently it needs 110 million Euros each year in subsidies. Another example is the SpaceX Falcon Heavy booster: the price-tag for that has increased sharply since the announcement in 2011. The price-tag for the regular Falcon 9 has increased as well. We won't even bother looking at Vega as that little critter has become MUCH more expensive than once projected.
Pulling this trend forward into the future; it's safe to say that Ariane 6 will become more expensive, per flight, than the 70 million Euro's projected by CNES and ESA today. But then again: the promise of industry that Ariane 5 ME will no longer need subsidies is just as invalid. Once it becomes operational it definitely will still need subsidies.

Second:
Asking industry to give best-estimate figures about the costs to complete development of Ariane 5 ME and Ariane 6 is just as ridiculous as asking ESA and CNES to give best-estimate figures  for the same. In the end, both parties will be way off. If there is one constant, in launcher development in Europe, it is that the launchers always become (much) more expensive (both in development cost as well as cost-per-flight) than initially calculated. Fighting petty wars over the difference in figures between industry and ESA/CNES is therefore an utter waste of effort.

Third:
Solids were not picked because CNES and ESA wish to be in control of the supply chain. I'm baffled as to how you came to that conclusion. Almost all components of the current Ariane 5 launcher are made by a limited number of large Euorpean companies, with EADS/Astrium being the biggest by far (and prime-contractor as well). But, EADS/Astrium will also become the prime development-contractor for Ariane 6, simply because there is no other European company with the experience to lead development. For development and production of the solids both ESA/CNES and the prime contractor will rely on the companies that currently preduce the solids for Ariane 5 and Vega. ESA and CNES are NOT production companies. They are (cross-)state-level agencies. They initiate development and provide the funds for development. But development, design, test and construction is always done by industry, under auspices from ESA/CNES. That MO applies to both liquid- and solid launchers. Ariane 6 will be no different.

Fourth:
EuroCryoSpace crying foul over Ariane 6 not being a liquid launcher has one, and one reason only: When Ariane 5 (ME) stops flying in the late 2020's, they are set to loose roughly 50% of their business. A company that, for it's business, is so much dependant on a single revenue source (Ariane 5) ought to be ashamed of itself. Them suggesting that ITER and CERN will suffer when cryogenic propulsion technology disappears from ESA launchers is even more shamefull. EuroCryoSpace seems to think that they, and only they, can supply cryogenics-technology to ITER and CERN. Well, there are at least 10 other cryogenics technology companies in Europe. There will always be someone willing to jump into the hole that the (potential) demise of EuroCryoSpace would create. That's called competition and free-market enterprise. ITER and CERN willl not be in trouble at all. The article on astrowatch.net you reffered to is simply fear mongering by EuroCryoSpace.

Offline Proponent

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<snip>

So why did they pick solids? IMO its because Arianespace/CNES want to control as much from the supply chain as possible, they don't trust the industry to deliver at low cost.

The problem is, CNES won't win a fight against the industry and the germans. Players like EuroCryoSpace will tell politicans how the loss of cryo knowhow will not only threaten space-related tech but also ITER, CERN (http://www.astrowatch.net/2012/09/air-liquide-worried-ariane-6-could.html) etc.

Your interpretations are not silly, they are however somewhat out-of-touch with reality.

First:
Many launchers in-development have become more expensive once the people involved really started cracking the numbers. For example: Ariane 5 originally was not supposed to need any subsidies. But currently it needs 110 million Euros each year in subsidies. Another example is the SpaceX Falcon Heavy booster: the price-tag for that has increased sharply since the announcement in 2011. The price-tag for the regular Falcon 9 has increased as well. We won't even bother looking at Vega as that little critter has become MUCH more expensive than once projected.
Pulling this trend forward into the future; it's safe to say that Ariane 6 will become more expensive, per flight, than the 70 million Euro's projected by CNES and ESA today. But then again: the promise of industry that Ariane 5 ME will no longer need subsidies is just as invalid. Once it becomes operational it definitely will still need subsidies.

I agree.  Europe will want to retain a space-launch industry.  It will fly its own government payloads on it and likely subsidize Ariane 6 as much as needed to keep at least a trickle of commercial payloads flying on it.

Quote
<snip>

Third:
Solids were not picked because CNES and ESA wish to be in control of the supply chain. I'm baffled as to how you came to that conclusion. Almost all components of the current Ariane 5 launcher are made by a limited number of large Euorpean companies, with EADS/Astrium being the biggest by far (and prime-contractor as well). But, EADS/Astrium will also become the prime development-contractor for Ariane 6, simply because there is no other European company with the experience to lead development. For development and production of the solids both ESA/CNES and the prime contractor will rely on the companies that currently preduce the solids for Ariane 5 and Vega. ESA and CNES are NOT production companies. They are (cross-)state-level agencies. They initiate development and provide the funds for development. But development, design, test and construction is always done by industry, under auspices from ESA/CNES. That MO applies to both liquid- and solid launchers. Ariane 6 will be no different.

I tend to think that a major attraction of solids for ESA/CNES is their synergy with missiles.  Especially if the flight rate of Ariane 6 is low, it would be expensive to support large liquid-propellant engines unique to it.

Of course, ESA here risks making the same mistake made by the US in the 1970s of abandoning lox-hydrocarbon engines only to find later that it's actually very valuable.

Offline woods170

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I tend to think that a major attraction of solids for ESA/CNES is their synergy with missiles.  Especially if the flight rate of Ariane 6 is low, it would be expensive to support large liquid-propellant engines unique to it.

Of course, ESA here risks making the same mistake made by the US in the 1970s of abandoning lox-hydrocarbon engines only to find later that it's actually very valuable.

I hope you don't literally refer to abandoning lox-hydrocarbon engines by ESA. Because ESA currently uses exactly zero lox-hydrocarbon engines.
Vulcain 2 is LOX/LH2, Aestus (Ariane 5 ES upper stage engine) is storable propellants and HM-7B (Ariane 5 ECA upper stage engine) is LOX/LH2.\

Knowledge of the use of cryogenic engines will likely not disappear entirely with Ariane 6. The current idea is to use a common-technology upper stage for both Ariane 5 ME and Ariane 6. That is to be the ESC-B upper stage, driven by the Vinci engine. It runs on LOX/LH2.
It's just that the use of LOX/LH2 will be scaled down (literally), but the basic knowledge will be retained.

Offline Patchouli

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<snip>

So why did they pick solids? IMO its because Arianespace/CNES want to control as much from the supply chain as possible, they don't trust the industry to deliver at low cost.

The problem is, CNES won't win a fight against the industry and the germans. Players like EuroCryoSpace will tell politicans how the loss of cryo knowhow will not only threaten space-related tech but also ITER, CERN (http://www.astrowatch.net/2012/09/air-liquide-worried-ariane-6-could.html) etc.

Your interpretations are not silly, they are however somewhat out-of-touch with reality.

First:
Many launchers in-development have become more expensive once the people involved really started cracking the numbers. For example: Ariane 5 originally was not supposed to need any subsidies. But currently it needs 110 million Euros each year in subsidies. Another example is the SpaceX Falcon Heavy booster: the price-tag for that has increased sharply since the announcement in 2011. The price-tag for the regular Falcon 9 has increased as well. We won't even bother looking at Vega as that little critter has become MUCH more expensive than once projected.
Pulling this trend forward into the future; it's safe to say that Ariane 6 will become more expensive, per flight, than the 70 million Euro's projected by CNES and ESA today. But then again: the promise of industry that Ariane 5 ME will no longer need subsidies is just as invalid. Once it becomes operational it definitely will still need subsidies.

I agree.  Europe will want to retain a space-launch industry.  It will fly its own government payloads on it and likely subsidize Ariane 6 as much as needed to keep at least a trickle of commercial payloads flying on it.

Quote
<snip>

Third:
Solids were not picked because CNES and ESA wish to be in control of the supply chain. I'm baffled as to how you came to that conclusion. Almost all components of the current Ariane 5 launcher are made by a limited number of large Euorpean companies, with EADS/Astrium being the biggest by far (and prime-contractor as well). But, EADS/Astrium will also become the prime development-contractor for Ariane 6, simply because there is no other European company with the experience to lead development. For development and production of the solids both ESA/CNES and the prime contractor will rely on the companies that currently preduce the solids for Ariane 5 and Vega. ESA and CNES are NOT production companies. They are (cross-)state-level agencies. They initiate development and provide the funds for development. But development, design, test and construction is always done by industry, under auspices from ESA/CNES. That MO applies to both liquid- and solid launchers. Ariane 6 will be no different.

I tend to think that a major attraction of solids for ESA/CNES is their synergy with missiles.  Especially if the flight rate of Ariane 6 is low, it would be expensive to support large liquid-propellant engines unique to it.

Of course, ESA here risks making the same mistake made by the US in the 1970s of abandoning lox-hydrocarbon engines only to find later that it's actually very valuable.

On Falcon 9 and similar I think the ESA needs to look into RLV technology if they wish to remain relevant.

Even semi reusable systems may be enough to remain competitive.

Offline Oli

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Quote from: woods170
Many launchers in-development have become more expensive once the people involved really started cracking the numbers.


Yes, but at least the projected cost should be around 70m, afaik this is not yet guaranteed, its the goal.

Quote from: woods170
In the end, both parties will be way off.

There must be a consensus on a budget. If in the end costs exceed projected ones, industry is usually held responsible and must pay for parts of cost overruns.

Quote from: woods170
Solids were not picked because CNES and ESA wish to be in control of the supply chain. I'm baffled as to how you came to that conclusion.

The conclusion was maybe a bit off, but the booster infrastructure in guaiana will likely be a significant cost factor for the all-solid solution, and it is under control of CNES/Arianespace.

Quote from: woods170
EuroCryoSpace crying foul over Ariane 6 not being a liquid launcher has one, and one reason only

Not saying their motives are honourable.

Quote from: Patchouli
On Falcon 9 and similar I think the ESA needs to look into RLV technology if they wish to remain relevant.

While I like what spacex does I think people are overly optimistic when it comes to their RLV plans. Reusable boosters, that's what spacex' first stage is in principle, have been on the drawing board around the world for a long time, never turned into reality due to low launch rates.
« Last Edit: 04/03/2013 03:09 AM by Oli »

Offline woods170

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Quote from: woods170
In the end, both parties will be way off.
There must be a consensus on a budget. If in the end costs exceed projected ones, industry is usually held responsible and must pay for parts of cost overruns.

Not with ESA it isn't. Development of Ariane 5 went substantially over budget. However, the development prime contractor was not held responsible for the over-runs. The additional cost was mostly coughed up by the participating ESA member states by delaying the program. Same thing happened with ATV.

Quote from: woods170
Solids were not picked because CNES and ESA wish to be in control of the supply chain. I'm baffled as to how you came to that conclusion.
The conclusion was maybe a bit off, but the booster infrastructure in guaiana will likely be a significant cost factor for the all-solid solution, and it is under control of CNES/Arianespace.

No, it isn't. It's under just as much control (or better said: as little control) from CNES/Arianespace as any other contractor facility, regardless of it being situated at CSG or not.
The booster infrastructure at CSG is partly run by the contractor (Regulus) and treated as a contractor facility by CNES/Arianespace.

There are more facilities at CSG that are not under direct control from CNES/Arianespace. One example is the Soyuz infrastructure at CSG. That infrastructure is operated on behalf of Arianespace, but it is under control of Roskosmos, the Russian space agency.


Quote from: Patchouli
On Falcon 9 and similar I think the ESA needs to look into RLV technology if they wish to remain relevant.
While I like what spacex does I think people are overly optimistic when it comes to their RLV plans. Reusable boosters, that's what spacex' first stage is in principle, have been on the drawing board around the world for a long time, never turned into reality due to low launch rates.
For the time being it remains to be seen whether a (partly) reusable RLV will have any signifant impact on lowering launch cost. SpaceX is doing impressive work, but it will be some time before it becomes clear if re-usability enhances SpaceX' business-case.
« Last Edit: 04/03/2013 11:07 AM by woods170 »

Offline Proponent

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I tend to think that a major attraction of solids for ESA/CNES is their synergy with missiles.  Especially if the flight rate of Ariane 6 is low, it would be expensive to support large liquid-propellant engines unique to it.

Of course, ESA here risks making the same mistake made by the US in the 1970s of abandoning lox-hydrocarbon engines only to find later that it's actually very valuable.

I hope you don't literally refer to abandoning lox-hydrocarbon engines by ESA. Because ESA currently uses exactly zero lox-hydrocarbon engines.

You're right.  If it is a mistake for Europe to abandon hydrocarbon engines, that mistake was made with Ariane 5.  The investment in segmented solids for Ariane 5 doesn't seem to be paying off either.

Offline woods170

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I tend to think that a major attraction of solids for ESA/CNES is their synergy with missiles.  Especially if the flight rate of Ariane 6 is low, it would be expensive to support large liquid-propellant engines unique to it.

Of course, ESA here risks making the same mistake made by the US in the 1970s of abandoning lox-hydrocarbon engines only to find later that it's actually very valuable.

I hope you don't literally refer to abandoning lox-hydrocarbon engines by ESA. Because ESA currently uses exactly zero lox-hydrocarbon engines.

You're right.  If it is a mistake for Europe to abandon hydrocarbon engines, that mistake was made with Ariane 5.  The investment in segmented solids for Ariane 5 doesn't seem to be paying off either.

Sorry to have to correct you again, but hydrocarbon technology was not abandoned with the introduction of Ariane 5, simply because Ariane launchers have never used hydrocarbon technology.
The previous Ariane 1 to Ariane 4 flew hypergolics stages and LOX/LH2 stages only. The additional boosters for Ariane 3 were solid propellant and the additional boosters for Ariane 4 were solid propellant and hypergolics.

As it is today, none of the propellant technologies ever employed on Ariane have been abandoned. Hypergolics are still in use in the upper stage of Ariane 5 ES (the version used for ATV). Solid propellant is in large-scale use in the EAP's of Ariane 5. And cryogenic propellant technology has been use on Ariane 1 (upper stage) and has continued to be used on Ariane upper stages ever since, the most recent installment being the ESC-A upper stage of Ariane 5 ECA. Cryogenic technology was introduced on large scale in the EPC (core) stage of Ariane 5.
It is possible that ESA/Arianespace will say goodbye to hypergolics with the introduction of Ariane 6. But very likely both solid propellant technology and cryogenic propellant technology will both be present on Ariane 6.

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