Arianespace class the Ariane 6 test as a success! Lots of references to "Firing for more than seven minutes." So it's now likely it was a misrepresentation from Arianespace/ESA ahead of the test that claimed it would be for eight minutes (twitter.com/esa/status/172… for example), as there is no reference to an abort or a shorter-than-planned duration in the post-test press release."Once ignited, the Vulcain 2.1 engine ran for more than 7 minutes of stabilized operation.""The test ended with the ignition of the core stage Vulcain 2.1 engine, followed by more than 7 minutes of stabilized operation covering the entire core stage flight phase."
Hot fire: Ariane 6 ready to rumble23/11/2023ESA / Enabling & Support / Space Transportation / ArianeIn briefESA’s new Ariane 6 rocket passed a major full-scale rehearsal today in preparation for its first flight, when teams on the ground went through a complete launch countdown followed by a seven-minute full firing of the core stage’s engine, as it would fire on a launch into space.In-depthFor this rehearsal, the boosters were not ignited so Ariane 6 stayed firmly on the launch pad at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, as planned.The engine-fire trial reenacts how the Ariane 6 core stage will fire during a normal flight into space. Once complete the main engine would shut down and the core stage would separate from the upper stage, which would then take over propulsion and complete its mission.The trial, conducted with a test model on the launch pad at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, was the longest ‘full-stack' run yet for Ariane 6’s lower liquid propulsion module with a Vulcain 2.1 engine.“The teams from ArianeGroup, CNES and ESA have now run through every step of the rocket's flight without it leaving Earth,” says ESA’s Director General Josef Aschbacher.“This milestone rehearsal comes after years of designing, planning, preparing, building and hard work from some of the finest space engineers in Europe. We are back on track towards resecuring Europe’s autonomous access to space. Well done to all involved!”The Vulcain 2.1 engine burnt through almost 150 tonnes of propellant in the Ariane 6 core stage tanks – liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, the latter supercooled to temperatures below -250°C. Vulcain 2.1 is an evolution of the Vulcain 2 engine which made Ariane 5 Europe's most successful launch system to date. The upgrade has a simplified and cheaper design, and new technology in the engine nozzle and ignition system has been moved from the engine to the launch pad structure, to make the stage perform better and cost less.It took just over two hours and required teams of people and delicate operations to load the rocket’s central core with fuel. The filling operations were performed during a long countdown that included other qualification tests, similar to the previous rehearsals this year. For fidelity and to guarantee launcher stability, the upper stage tanks were also fueled – even though the upper stage engine only kicks in once in orbit after separation from the main stage and so was not fired during this ground test.The launch pad – operated by France’s space agency CNES – used its water deluge system to temper the heat from the engine.ESA’s Director of Space Transportation, Toni Tolker-Nielsen, added his vote of confidence in the teams across Europe working to bring Ariane 6 to service: "A huge thanks to all of our dedicated colleagues who are committed and working tirelessly to see this rocket fly.”The test followed a shorter burn in September (known as CTLO1) when Ariane 6's tanks were filled and its Vulcain 2.1 engine briefly ignited and switched off, and the filling and draining test executed in October (known as CTLO2.1) to check the launch system functions such as draining fuel in the presence of multiple simulated failures.A last hot-fire test of the upper stage is being prepared and planned for December 2023 at the Lampoldshausen test centre from Germany's DLR aerospace agency.
Ariane 6 was not supposed to have pierced the clouds yesterday, but it brought them down to Earth.☁🌎Impressive drone views from the #Ariane6 main stage test. As the stage uses liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen as propellant, the clouds you see are H20: water vapour! ☁🚀
😉 You wanted 'sound'? We got sound...🚀 Feel the noise on these highlights of yesterday's #Ariane6 core stage hot-fire test 🔊 Pump up the volume, as they say... 🔗esa.int/ESA_Multimedia… @ESA_transport @CNES @ArianeGroup @EuropeSpacePort
#MediaInvitation: journalists are invited to a briefing on the latest #Ariane6 task force meeting, on 30 November 2023, at 08:00 GMT/09:00 CET. @AschbacherJosef will outline the progress achieved with the successful hot-firing test on 23 November. Details & registration 👇🔗
N° 55–2023: Media invitation: Updates on Ariane 6 task force meeting24 November 2023The Ariane 6 Launcher Task Force, will brief on the conclusions reached at its latest meeting during a media briefing from ESA Headquarters in Paris, France, on 30 November 2023 at 09:00 CET.Josef Aschbacher, ESA Director General will outline the progress achieved after the successful hot firing test on 23 November 2023 at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, as well as the upcoming steps in the Ariane 6 development test campaign, including the tentative launch period for Ariane 6 together with:Martin Sion, CEO, ArianeGroup.Philippe Baptiste, President, CNES.Stéphane Israël, CEO, ArianespaceAlso present will be senior experts such asToni Tolker-Nielsen, Director of Space Transportation, ESA.On 23 November 2023, Europe’s new Ariane 6 rocket went through a successful full-scale rehearsal in preparation for its inaugural flight, when teams from ArianeGroup, France’s space agency CNES, and ESA on the ground completed a launch countdown rehearsal. The test included the ignition of the core stage Vulcain 2.1 engine, followed by seven-minute full firing of the core stage’s engine, as it would function on a launch into space.Ariane 6 Launcher Task ForceThe Ariane 6 Launcher Task Force consists of top management at ESA, the overall Ariane 6 procuring entity and launch system architect, launch base prime contractor CNES, launcher system prime contractor ArianeGroup and launch service provider Arianespace. This group reports regularly on progress being made towards the inaugural flight of the new Ariane 6 launcher.Ariane 6 is an all-new design, created to succeed Ariane 5 as Europe's heavy-lift launch system. With Ariane 6's upper stage restart capability, Europe's launch capability will be tailored to the needs of multiple payload missions, for example to orbit satellite constellations. This autonomous capability to reach Earth orbit and deep space supports Europe's navigation, Earth observation, scientific and security programmes. On-going development of Europe's space transportation capabilities is made possible by the sustained dedication of thousands of talented people working in ESA's 22 Member States.Media AccreditationThe media briefing will be followed by a question-and-answer session.Media representatives are invited to register to attend either on site at ESA HQ, or remotely, at the following link: https://blogs.esa.int/forms/esa-media-briefing-form the latest by 28 November, Tuesday at 17:00 CET. Registered media to attend the media briefing remotely will receive the link to join the interactive online session shortly before the briefing (WebEx platform). The press conference will also be streamed at esawebtv.esa.int, but only registered media will be able to ask questions within the WebEx system.
🚀 #Ariane6 soars to new heights with a groundbreaking 7-minute hot-fire test at @EuropeSpaceport. A key step towards its inaugural flight, this achievement validates the core stage's entire flight phase. Watch the test with us again and celebrate with our teams. #ArianeGroup
Breaking: ESA’s Director General announces a launch window for Ariane 6 - June 15th to July 31, 2024.
The first year of A6 operations will see two flights, the first in the summer and the second hopefully prior to the end of the year, before the ramp up period in 2025 begins.
Ariane 6 joint update report, 30 November 202330/11/2023ESA / Enabling & Support / Space Transportation / ArianeThe Ariane 6 Launcher Task Force consists of top management of ESA, as the overall Ariane 6 procuring entity and launch system architect, of the French space agency CNES, as the launch base prime contractor, of ArianeGroup as the launcher system prime contractor and of Arianespace as the launch service provider. This group reports regularly on progress being made towards inaugural flight of the new Ariane 6 launcher.Key milestones towards inaugural flight:On the way towards the first flight of Ariane 6 two more rehearsals have been conducted since the last joint update:23 October 2023: Combined test loading, Kourou, French GuianaThe combined loading test 2.1 (CTLO 2.1) was the third time the Ariane 6 teams practiced a full launch countdown, this test concentrated on system robustness and how well Ariane 6 and the teams handle situations at the edge of the operational parameters with operations performed at night to test operations in cooler ambient temperatures. The test lasted over 30 hours and consisted of a full launch chronology enriched by qualification tests on several launch system functions including ventilation of cavities, launch range interfaces, and environmental characterisation.23 November 2023: Combined test, long-duration firing of the core stage with Vulcain 2.1 engine, Kourou, French GuianaThe combined hot-firing test (CTHF) was conducted with the test model of Ariane 6 on the launch pad at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. It consisted of a major full-scale rehearsal of a complete launch timeline, followed by more than seven minutes of stabilised operation covering the entire core stage flight phase. The planned operations took around 24 hours with an engine ignition 12 hours after starting operations. The test was a complete success as all functional aspects were tested and functioned as expected, it covered all aspects required for qualification.Next milestones:7 December 2023: Upper stage firing test, Lampoldshausen, GermanyThis hot-firing test of the upper stage (HFT4) is planned at the German Aerospace Center, DLR, Lampoldshausen test centre, to examine stage behaviour for different kind of missions, with the exploration of alternative functioning and flight conditions and stage’s operating limits in degraded conditions.15 December 2023: Combined test loading 3 (CTLO3), Kourou, French GuianaTeams are working towards another combined test loading (CTLO3) that is set to take place on 15 December. It is again a test representative of a launch chronology, meant for anticipating degraded cases to ensure launcher robustness and for preparing launcher exploitation. The test will end with a short core stage engine ignition.First flight periodESA, CNES and ArianeGroup are targeting the first launch of Ariane 6 between mid June and end of July 2024.Ariane 6 is an all-new design, created to succeed Ariane 5 as Europe's heavy-lift launch system. With Ariane 6's upper stage restart capability, Europe's launch capability will be tailored to the needs of multiple payload missions, for example to orbit satellite constellations. This autonomous capability to reach Earth orbit and deep space supports Europe's navigation, Earth observation, scientific and security programmes. Ongoing development of Europe's space transportation capabilities is made possible by the sustained dedication of thousands of talented people working in ESA's 22 Member States.
The long-awaited maiden flight of Ariane 6 is scheduled to take place between June 15 and July 31, 2024, European Space Agency (ESA) Director General Josef Aschbacher announced at a press conference on Thursday.Karin Sturm (@sturmf1) with the details ⬇️
Ariane 6 joint update report, 18 December 202319/12/2023ESA / Enabling & Support / Space Transportation / ArianeThe Ariane 6 Launcher Task Force consists of top management of ESA, as the overall Ariane 6 procuring entity and launch system architect, of the French space agency CNES, as the launch base prime contractor, of ArianeGroup as the launcher system prime contractor and of Arianespace as the launch service provider. This group reports regularly on progress being made towards inaugural flight of the new Ariane 6 launcher.Key milestones towards inaugural flight:On the way towards the first flight of Ariane 6, two more rehearsals have been conducted since the last joint update:15 December 2023: Combined test loading 3 (CTLO3), Kourou, French GuianaOn 15 December, 2023, teams from ArianeGroup, the French Space Agency (CNES), and the European Space Agency (ESA) successfully carried out another launch sequence of Ariane 6 on its launch pad at Europe’s Spaceport, French Guiana, for the combined test campaign.The combined test loading (CTLO3) tested a launch countdown aimed to qualify the launch system in degraded conditions to ensure its robustness and prepare for operations. It was run the same way as the previous ones, with a launch sequence and final countdown representative of a launch, including removal of the mobile gantry as well as filling and draining of the launcher’s upper and core stage tanks with liquid hydrogen (-253 °C) and liquid oxygen (-183 °C). This test sequence included qualification tests of several launch system functions in case of aborted launch and included one ignition of the Vulcain 2.1 engine thrust chamber.This was the fifth countdown run to include loading Ariane 6 with cryo-propellants since July.The rehearsal was very well executed, and the countdown ran exactly as planned. The test was a full success and the task force thanks all teams involved.The launch operations for Ariane 6 are mastered, we are ready to go.7 December 2023: Upper stage firing test, Lampoldshausen, GermanyHaving already qualified for flight after rigorous tests under routine conditions, Ariane 6's upper stage was pushed to its limits last week. The goal of the hot-fire test (HFT-4) on 7 December at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) test facility in Lampoldshausen, Germany, was to reproduce a normal start of a flight with the restartable Vinci engine and Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), and then to introduce degraded conditions to assess the robustness of the stage and how it would behave in extreme and unexpected conditions. Two minutes after the Vinci engine and APU were fired up, the test was automatically aborted when sensors detected that some parameters had gone beyond predetermined thresholds. The engines were shut down with the nominal sequence, the upper stage test model and test bench entered a safe condition, and the tanks were emptied. This HFT-4 test went beyond the normal flight profile for Ariane 6. The stage will not operate in such a test configuration on the inaugural flight. Teams are analysing test hardware and investigating possible root causes of the abort, with results expected mid-January 2024. More details will be given after the next Task Force meeting. We are confident that these investigations will not impact the schedule to Ariane 6 inaugural flight.Next milestones:End January 2024: disconnection tests of the cryo-connection systemA rehearsal of disconnecting the upper and lower fuelling arms that support the umbilicals that supply Ariane 6 with liquid hydrogen and oxygen. The same umbilicals allow the propellant to be drained safely if a launch is aborted.Mid-February: Arrival of first flight elements in French GuianaThe stages for the first Ariane 6 flight will arrive by Canopée ship in Kourouin French Guiana.First flight periodESA, CNES and ArianeGroup are targeting the first launch of Ariane 6 between mid-June and end of July 2024.
If rocket building were a game, #Europe’s heavy-lift launcher Ariane 6 passed a final test on hard mode. Last Friday, @CNES, @ArianeGroup and @esa completed the last of the super-cool propellant-loading tests for #Ariane6 including a four-second ignition of the main stage 🧵
The combined test loading, called CTLO3, was the last in a series of rehearsals on the full-scale rocket to practice launch operations for #Ariane6, and the final one before its first flight next year. It included tests of "ultimate contingency modes".
The test moved the Vulcain 2.1 engine nozzle to simulate extreme ignition conditions and degraded modes of liftoff. This video from a previous test shows how the nozzle can move to keep Ariane 6 on course as it heads up to space. 🚀
A second part of the rehearsal operations focused on safe unloading of the rocket’s tanks after an emergency launch abort. The control bench was put in a double failure and the operational teams worked with very limited control resources.
The simulated emergency abort was a real stress case for the command and control systems, but the launch system showed excellent performance and resilience to anomalies. This was the first and only time we test the emergency system, so it was tense and required full concentration. The teams at @EuropeSpacePort and the #Ariane6 designers, builders and operators have proven the system and themselves capable in all scenarios. 👏
The current position of CANOPEE is at North East Atlantic Ocean reported 1 min ago by AIS. The vessel is en route to FRBDX, sailing at a speed of 12.0 knots and expected to arrive there on Jan 27, 17:00.
ArianeGroup Prepare to Ship Ariane 6 Flight Hardware to KourouArianeGroup is preparing to ship the Ariane 6 core stage and upper stage that will be used for the vehicle’s first flight towards the middle of this year to the launch site in French Guiana. Although the development of Ariane 6 has been hit with several years of delays, ESA and ArianeGroup are on the final stretch to the vehicle’s maiden launch.According to a 17 January ESA press call, journalists will be given one last look at the upper stage in Bremen, Germany, on 26 January and the core stage in Les Mureaux, France, on 30 January. Once the pomp and circumstance have been completed, the two Ariane 6 stages will be loaded onto the transport vessel Canopée for its 10-day transatlantic crossing to the port of Pariacabo in French Guiana.The 121-metre Ariane 6 transport ship is fitted with four rigid sails that each measure 37 metres in height. The sails will supplement two diesel engines while also enabling the vessel to reduce its fuel consumption and, thus, its carbon footprint. Canopée is capable of traveling up to 17 knots, or around 31 km/h.Typically, Canopée would have five stops before embarking on its journey to French Guiana. Its first stop would be Bremen in Germany, where it would collect the Ariane 6 upper stage. It would collect the rocket’s fairing halves from Rotterdam in The Netherlands. Then, it would be on to Le Havre, France, for the core stage. Finally, it would make one last stop in Bordeaux, France, for solid propulsion elements. For this voyage, however, Canopée will not need to make as many stops.Beyond Gravity, the company responsible for the rocket’s fairing, announced on 6 October 2023 that it was preparing to ship the fairing halves for the maiden flight aboard its own transport ship. On 17 October, EUROPROPULSION, a joint venture owned by ArianeGroup and Avio, announced that it had delivered the first of two P120C boosters for the flight. The company hasn’t yet announced anything about the second booster, but integration activities are likely currently taking place in French Guiana.The core and upper stages are expected to arrive in French Guiana in mid-February, after which integration activities can commence. The maiden flight of Ariane 6 is currently expected to take place between 15 June and 31 July. While preparations do appear to be continuing smoothly, ArianeGroup has still not announced the results of its investigation into why an Ariane 6 upper stage test conducted on 7 December was aborted early.
Ariane 6 joint update report, 31 January 202431/01/2024ESA / Enabling & Support / Space Transportation / ArianeThe Ariane 6 Launcher Task Force consists of top management of ESA, as the overall Ariane 6 procuring entity and launch system architect, of the French space agency CNES, as the launch base prime contractor, of ArianeGroup as the launcher system prime contractor and of Arianespace as the launch service provider. This group reports regularly on progress being made towards inaugural flight of the new Ariane 6 launcher.Key milestones towards inaugural flight:The combined test phase using propellants is over. There is no need for additional tests on the Ariane 6 flight model. We are on track for inaugural launch.On the way towards the first flight of Ariane 6, these milestones have been conducted since the last joint update:30 January 2024: Fuel line and umbilical disconnections, Kourou, French GuianaTeams successfully completed the disconnection and retraction of the cryogenic systems.These operations are needed to start dismantling the test model and make way for Flight Model 1.HFT-4 Upper stage firing test report, Lampoldshausen, GermanyTechnical investigations are still ongoing concerning the test abort that occurred after two minutes of the upper stage hot-fire test on the Vinci engine (HFT-4) that was performed on 7 December 2023.Based on the results of the analysis performed, we can confirm that the launch period for the Ariane 6 inaugural flight is unchanged.Next milestones:Combined test campaignThe combined test campaign will continue with dismantling operations. This will validate the ability to disassemble the launcher in case anomalies would require a change of a stage of the rocket on the launch pad. These operations include:Combined Tests Launcher Dismounting (CTLD) that is required for the launch pad preparation for the Inaugural Flight campaign;Dummy Payload Dismounting Test that will be executed in the Hall d’Encapsulation (HE) that is part of the Batiment Assemblage Final (BAF).February: Departure of first flight elements to French GuianaThe stages for the first Ariane 6 flight will leave Europe and arrive by Canopée ship in French Guiana in February.First flight periodESA, CNES and ArianeGroup are targeting the first launch of Ariane 6 between 15 June and 31 July 2024.
Shipment of the rocket stages for the inaugural flight of Ariane 6 has begun - Canopée is underway...https://www.vesselfinder.com/vessels/details/9924120Quote The current position of CANOPEE is at North East Atlantic Ocean reported 1 min ago by AIS. The vessel is en route to FRBDX, sailing at a speed of 12.0 knots and expected to arrive there on Jan 27, 17:00.
Local media is reporting that the very first Ariane 6 upper stage was due to be loaded onto the dedicated transport ship Canopée in Germany today. Delayed to Tuesday due to strong winds but will eventually sail across the Atlantic to French Guiana