Author Topic: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here  (Read 768585 times)

Offline GWR64

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Hello,
Are there any updates to the Ariane 6 upper stage 'hot-firing model' in Lampoldshausen?

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31484.msg2191901#msg2191901
According to Karl-Heinz Servos (Chief Operating Officer Arianegroup Germany) by the midst of July they had encountered about 2 months of delays, with - at that time - the 1st (out of 3) hot fires planned for the end of August/early September. Haven't seen any more recent updates.

Die erste heiße Zündung soll Ende August oder Anfang September stattfinden – etwa zwei Monate später als geplant. Das liegt einerseits an den Auswirkungen der Pandemie auf Arbeitsabläufe und Lieferketten, andererseits an "kleineren Rückschlägen beim ersten Testmodell", so Servos.
https://www.flugrevue.de/raumfahrt/neue-europaeische-traegerrakete-wie-steht-es-um-die-ariane-6/
I'm wondering if I did miss any updates on the hot-fire tests of the upper stage? A news release by DLR from 3 weeks ago stated that they were preparing tests: "Zurzeit bereitet ein DLR-Team am Prüfstand P5.2 Tests der Oberstufe der europäischen Trägerrakete Ariane 6 vor."

Will this be the 1st (or 2nd/3rd) of the planned hot-fire tests?

https://www.dlr.de/content/de/artikel/news/2022/02/20220505_besuch-mp-kretschmann-dlr-la.html

The tests keep getting pushed back.
The last statements, mid-February, then at the end of March.
No hot firing test.
Tests with the combined test model have not yet started in Kourou either.

I think if everything goes smoothly from next week,
then a first launch of Ariane 6 will be possible in the second quarter of 2023.
If not, it will be later.
Other opinions?
« Last Edit: 05/26/2022 11:47 am by GWR64 »

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Explain, why you think there is a year between the P5.2 integrated upper stage test and the maiden launch?
There are test articles for the P5.2 and ELA-4 qualification and the maiden launcher has different hardware.
« Last Edit: 05/26/2022 08:15 pm by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline GWR64

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I look at past schedules.
The duration of the individual sections remains the same, doesn't get shorter if they beginning late.
About 6 months were planned for the tests with the combined test model on ELA-4.
After that a few more months until the launch.

ARIANE 6 USER’S CLUB 7TH & 8TH SEPTEMBER 2017
https://docplayer.net/docview/65/53200174/#file=/storage/65/53200174/53200174.pdf

2020 ESA
https://www.esa.int/Enabling_Support/Space_Transportation/ESA_lays_out_roadmap_to_Vega-C_and_Ariane_6_flights
« Last Edit: 05/26/2022 09:08 pm by GWR64 »

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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In my opinion there are two technological risky components.
The MANG's (pyrotechnic quick disconnects) and the ULPM APU's.
I hope they have developed the backup plan for the case the APU's need further work. This is just adding COPV's with helium and some payload capability penalty.
It would be a shame if they didn't have this on hand to start launch services with Ariane 6 by early 2023.

I think the MANG's have been the reason for the years of delay, they need to work. Also for the P5.2 ULPM test.
I'm no expert but they did this test in April. I can't judge it. This was a earlier test of the integrated test campaign. AFAIK the assembled LLPM+ULPM are waiting for final series of integrated tests.


I still think the Q4 2022 timeframe for Ariane 6 maiden launch is realistic.

Use translate:
may 5th First cryogenic tests for Ariane 6
may 13th CNES: Vulcain 2.1 ignition system partially tested on ELA-4

edit: The integrated test ULPM and LLPM stages arrived at the BAL in Februari 2022. I find it unlikely they didn't do anything with these stages to prepare for the integrated tests. We'll know after June 22th. But without images if ESA/Arianegroup/Arianespace won't allow sharing them.
ESA N° 23–2022: Invitation to media: Join pre-launch press programme to see Vega-C and preparations for Ariane 6 at Europe’s Spaceport
« Last Edit: 05/28/2022 10:47 am by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline GWR64

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The development of Ariane 6 is described in great detail there.
http://www.capcomespace.net/dossiers/espace_europeen/ariane/ariane6/index.htm

On the 2022 page is an overview of the combined tests with the Ariane-6 CTM launcher.

http://www.capcomespace.net/dossiers/espace_europeen/ariane/ariane6/developpement_2022.htm

As already written, these tests have not started yet.
I haven't seen any pictures of the fully integrated CTM.
« Last Edit: 05/28/2022 09:38 am by GWR64 »

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Capcomespace.net Ariane6 development 2022
(the fifth, 3th row) This graphic shows all the phases of the combined test.
The first part: dummy payloads encapsulation test, was finished in may 2021. Arianegroup
The second part, launcher integration, is in progress. The LLPM and ULPM stages are inside the BAL. We don't know the assembly status, I think by June 22th the combined test article will be fully assembled at ELA-4.
Next is the propellent phase, composed of three wet dress rehearsals (countdown until Vulcain 2.1 Ignition) and an aborted launch test (Vulcain 2.1 ignition and shutdown after a couple of seconds).
Possibly they have to disassemble the test article afterwards for Vulcain 2.1 refurbishment, but possibly this isn't necessary.     
Than they are going to do a (long) hot firing test. Possibly full Vulcain 2.1 engine firing duration.
To finish out the test they have to de-mate the payload and disassemble the launcher (combined test article).

If all goes according to plan, they can start the maiden launch campaign. Is an anomaly takes place, they might have to redo a test. I think they should go into the test hardware rich. If needed they should sacrifice a launcher so they don't have to wait for a new test article.
« Last Edit: 05/29/2022 07:10 am by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline GWR64

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Eric Berger writes:
Quote
The official declined to provide a new, specific launch target for Ariane 6's debut flight. (A separate source has told Ars the working date is no earlier than April 2023). The new launch target is expected to be revealed on July 13 during a joint news conference with European space officials.
https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/06/europes-major-new-rocket-the-ariane-6-is-delayed-again/

Peter de Selding SpaceIntelReport:
Quote
ESA official: No single event caused the latest Ariane 6 delay, and it’s unclear who will have to pay for it
written by Peter B. de Selding June 16, 2022

PARIS — The months-long delay in the inaugural flight of Europe’s heavy-lift Ariane 6 rocket, confirmed the week of June 13, came after technical reviews of the vehicle’s upper-stage testing and the launch-sequence software managing the rocket and its launch pad, a European Space Agency (ESA) official said.

There was no single event that precipitated the announcement that Ariane 6’s first flight would slip into 2023, with a more-precise estimate to await further review between now and mid-July, the official said.

https://www.spaceintelreport.com/esa-official-no-single-event-caused-the-latest-ariane-6-delay-and-its-unclear-who-will-have-to-pay-for-it/

Offline floss

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What is Ariane 64 payload now?

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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What is Ariane 64 payload now?
Arianespace Publications : Ariane 6 Brochure, June 13, 2022.
Arianespace Ariane 6

Funny that they don't know payload capability for Ariane 64 to MEO 23200km. And because it's in early development they haven't added the capability with Astris kick-stage. I think that will show interesting results.
Like 4mT to MEO with A62+Astris, and 4mT to GEO with A62 and Astris.

What's holding back progress at Lampoldshausen? It's nearly two years behind schedule. This requires an explanation. Integrated testing at CSG are continuing. Why can't the maiden launch of Ariane 6 happen in 2022. The MANG ULPM is part of the delay, the APU's is another part, but it doesn't explain the full story.
Ariane 6 is government funded, so public deserves a propper explanation. Sorry, no new projects without propper explanation. Let's not promote piss-por performance.
Over ambitious timeline is a propper explanation, in my opinion. Just state it, and prevent it from happening again. Mistakes and mishaps can happen, it doesn't really matter if lessons are learned from it. 
« Last Edit: 08/07/2022 04:27 pm by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline GWR64

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...

What's holding back progress at Lampoldshausen? It's nearly two years behind schedule. This requires an explanation. Integrated testing at CNES are continuing. Why can't the maiden launch of Ariane 6 happen in 2022. The MANG ULPM is part of the delay, the APU's is another part, but it doesn't explain the full story.
Ariane 6 is government funded, so public deserves a propper explanation. Sorry, no new projects without propper explanation. Let's not promote piss-por performance.
Over ambitious timeline is a propper explanation, in my opinion. Just state it, and prevent it from happening again. Mistakes and mishaps can happen, it doesn't really matter if lessons are learned from it.

The latest rumors from France are very depressing.
Let's see what the ESA announces in autumn for the Ariane 6 maiden flight.
Actually, one should assume that the Ariane 6 should become cheaper and also easier to handle.
Instead, a complicated device was created, the technology of which Ariane Group apparently does not understand itself.

 :(

Offline Rondaz

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Tonight, we invite you behind the scenes to the new Ariane 6 Launcher Assembly Building (BAL) at the French Guiana Space Center (CSG) in Kourou, a building unlike any other.

https://twitter.com/ArianeGroup/status/1565407053694308352

Offline hoku

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Hello,
Are there any updates to the Ariane 6 upper stage 'hot-firing model' in Lampoldshausen?

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31484.msg2191901#msg2191901
According to Karl-Heinz Servos (Chief Operating Officer Arianegroup Germany) by the midst of July they had encountered about 2 months of delays, with - at that time - the 1st (out of 3) hot fires planned for the end of August/early September. Haven't seen any more recent updates.

Die erste heiße Zündung soll Ende August oder Anfang September stattfinden – etwa zwei Monate später als geplant. Das liegt einerseits an den Auswirkungen der Pandemie auf Arbeitsabläufe und Lieferketten, andererseits an "kleineren Rückschlägen beim ersten Testmodell", so Servos.
https://www.flugrevue.de/raumfahrt/neue-europaeische-traegerrakete-wie-steht-es-um-die-ariane-6/
I'm wondering if I did miss any updates on the hot-fire tests of the upper stage? A news release by DLR from 3 weeks ago stated that they were preparing tests: "Zurzeit bereitet ein DLR-Team am Prüfstand P5.2 Tests der Oberstufe der europäischen Trägerrakete Ariane 6 vor."

Will this be the 1st (or 2nd/3rd) of the planned hot-fire tests?

https://www.dlr.de/content/de/artikel/news/2022/02/20220505_besuch-mp-kretschmann-dlr-la.html
My apologies if I should sound like a broken record: there was a statement by Josef Aschbacher, ESA Director General, at the end of June that hot fire tests for the upper stage would finally start by mid July.

Have these (3?) hot fire tests in the meantime been completed?

https://www.flugrevue.de/raumfahrt/vor-beginn-der-kombinierten-tests-ariane-6-nimmt-gestalt-an/

Offline Try_NBS

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No, they didn't test the UPLM. I don't found any source or official ESA newspaper what say they tested it.

Offline woods170

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Moved this discussion from the SUSIE thread:

I don't want to sound like a broken record but A6 is actually a wonderful achievement in comparison to the four solids monster that CNES was pushing. I think they actually saved the program with that.

I don't think it matters. The CNES design and the current design are already obsolete.

Current A6 design is barely competitive in a segment that's not very well aligned with demand, but can do albeit at a high cost while they actually do what needs to be done. The CNES (PPC was it called?) was an atrocious design that would have meant A7 would have to be a new start cost ESA a lot more.

Emphasis mine.
I disagree with that statement. Like Ariane 6, the Vulcan vehicle is not reusable, not even partially. For Vulcan that status might change to partially reusable (SMART) in the later years of this decade. But right now both Vulcan and Ariane 6 are old-style, fully expendable launch vehicles.

But despite both vehicles being fully expendable, both are quite competitive. Before the Kuiper launch contracts were awarded earlier in 2022, Vulcan already had a backlog of 35 launches, primarily for US government launches, mixed with a good number of commercial launches.
Ariane 6 already had a backlog of 25 launches, primarily for ESA government launches, but also mixed with a good number of commercial launches.

And then came the Kuiper constellation. Which added 38 more launches to the Vulcan manifest and 18 more launches to the Ariane 6 manifest. ULA now has a backlog of 73 launches for Vulcan, before even its first launch. Ariane 6 now has a backlog of 43 launches, before even its first launch. Those numbers don't match with the phrase "barely competitive".

What people continue to overlook is that SpaceX is not eating everyone's lunch. Both government entities and commercial entities want redundancy in launch providers. Which is why not all launches are awarded to SpaceX (who already beats most other launch providers hands down on price). Even after Starship becomes operational, this situation will continue to exist.

Both ULA and Arianespace know this. And they also know that the most serious threat to the status quo is another (partially) reusable F9 class vehicle coming online, provided by a non-SpaceX provider.
« Last Edit: 10/10/2022 09:39 am by woods170 »

Offline TrevorMonty





Both ULA and Arianespace know this. And they also know that the most serious threat to the status quo is another (partially) reusable F9 class vehicle coming online, provided by a non-SpaceX provider.

Which is Neutron, Beta/Antares and Terran R.

Offline libra

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Moved this discussion from the SUSIE thread:

I don't want to sound like a broken record but A6 is actually a wonderful achievement in comparison to the four solids monster that CNES was pushing. I think they actually saved the program with that.

I don't think it matters. The CNES design and the current design are already obsolete.

Current A6 design is barely competitive in a segment that's not very well aligned with demand, but can do albeit at a high cost while they actually do what needs to be done. The CNES (PPC was it called?) was an atrocious design that would have meant A7 would have to be a new start cost ESA a lot more.

Emphasis mine.
I disagree with that statement. Like Ariane 6, the Vulcan vehicle is not reusable, not even partially. For Vulcan that status might change to partially reusable (SMART) in the later years of this decade. But right now both Vulcan and Ariane 6 are old-style, fully expendable launch vehicles.

But despite both vehicles being fully expendable, both are quite competitive. Before the Kuiper launch contracts were awarded earlier in 2022, Vulcan already had a backlog of 35 launches, primarily for US government launches, mixed with a good number of commercial launches.
Ariane 6 already had a backlog of 25 launches, primarily for ESA government launches, but also mixed with a good number of commercial launches.

And then came the Kuiper constellation. Which added 38 more launches to the Vulcan manifest and 18 more launches to the Ariane 6 manifest. ULA now has a backlog of 73 launches for Vulcan, before even its first launch. Ariane 6 now has a backlog of 43 launches, before even its first launch. Those numbers don't match with the phrase "barely competitive".

What people continue to overlook is that SpaceX is not eating everyone's lunch. Both government entities and commercial entities want redundancy in launch providers. Which is why not all launches are awarded to SpaceX (who already beats most other launch providers hands down on price). Even after Starship becomes operational, this situation will continue to exist.

Both ULA and Arianespace know this. And they also know that the most serious threat to the status quo is another (partially) reusable F9 class vehicle coming online, provided by a non-SpaceX provider.

I'm delighted to hear that !


Offline Zed_Noir

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<snip>
And then came the Kuiper constellation. Which added 38 more launches to the Vulcan manifest and 18 more launches to the Ariane 6 manifest. ULA now has a backlog of 73 launches for Vulcan, before even its first launch. Ariane 6 now has a backlog of 43 launches, before even its first launch. Those numbers don't match with the phrase "barely competitive".
<snip>
The only reason for the high number of Ariane 6, Atlas V and Vulcan Centaur rides booked by the Kuiper Project is a certain bald person objects to using the industry leading launch provider.

The launch totals of 35 for ULA and 25 for Arianespace spread over many years before Project Kuiper showing up. Probably will resulted in lower annual launch rates than the Ariane 5 for Arianespace and the Atlas V/Delta IV for ULA currently.

Much of the future launches for Vulcan Centaur was from the premature USAF "Block Buy" that allocated 60% of upcoming launches to ULA. Don't think ULA could win that high a percentage of future launches if they were bid for competitively.


Offline woods170

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Both ULA and Arianespace know this. And they also know that the most serious threat to the status quo is another (partially) reusable F9 class vehicle coming online, provided by a non-SpaceX provider.

Which is Neutron, Beta/Antares and Terran R.


Neutron: No. Neutron has only 60% of the performance of F9 and Ariane 64, and only a bit more than half of the performance of Vulcan Heavy. Lower class of vehicle.

Beta/Antares: No, for the same reasons listed for Neutron: lack of performance compared to F9, Ariane 6 and Vulcan. Lower class of vehicle.

Terran R: Now that is beginning to look more like it. Similar performance as F9 and Ariane 64, and only slightly below the performance of Vulcan. But of the three vehicles mentioned it is the one furthest out from becoming operational (Relativity has yet to launch the Terran 1 precursor vehicle).
« Last Edit: 10/10/2022 02:06 pm by woods170 »

Offline edzieba

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Much of the future launches for Vulcan Centaur was from the premature USAF "Block Buy" that allocated 60% of upcoming launches to ULA. Don't think ULA could win that high a percentage of future launches if they were bid for competitively.
NSSL Phase 2 was bid competitively. ULA won the majority of that bid. 'Block buy' has been dead for years.

Offline woods170

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<snip>
And then came the Kuiper constellation. Which added 38 more launches to the Vulcan manifest and 18 more launches to the Ariane 6 manifest. ULA now has a backlog of 73 launches for Vulcan, before even its first launch. Ariane 6 now has a backlog of 43 launches, before even its first launch. Those numbers don't match with the phrase "barely competitive".
<snip>
The only reason for the high number of Ariane 6, Atlas V and Vulcan Centaur rides booked by the Kuiper Project is a certain bald person objects to using the industry leading launch provider.

Bezos' objections are legitimate. You don't launch on the vehicle of your direct competitor unless you absolutely have no other choice. See OneWeb. They did not choose SpaceX, until Russia decided to throw a tantrum and blocked access to Soyuz. And OneWeb is only launching the absolute minimum number of sats on Falcon 9. They also contracted with India's GLSV Mk.3. Their next generation satellites are contracted to launch not on SpaceX rockets, but on Relativity's Terran R.

So, there is precedent for Kuiper choosing ULA, Blue Origin and Arianespace and not choosing SpaceX. You simply don't spend money on the service of a competitor, if (part of) that money will be used to compete with your own service. In case of Amazon's Kuiper it was easy: money spent by Amazon on ULA, Blue and Arianespace does not go into a competing mega constellation. However, money spent by Amazon on launching on F9 is partially funneled (the profit part that is) by SpaceX into developing Starlink, which is a direct competitor to Kuiper.

The launch totals of 35 for ULA and 25 for Arianespace spread over many years before Project Kuiper showing up. Probably will resulted in lower annual launch rates than the Ariane 5 for Arianespace and the Atlas V/Delta IV for ULA currently.

Emphasis mine.
Sorry, no, but you are wrong.
New launch vehicles always start slowly. Just look at the initial flight history of Falcon 9: it took 4 years for its first 7 launches. Than two more years with "just" seven launches per year, before it really began to fly often.

Same for Ariane 5: in its first 4 years it flew just four times, with a single mission in each of the years 1996 - 1999. The next four years it flew on average 3 missions each year. Only after 2004, 8 years after its introduction, did it begin to routinely fly more than 5 missions per year.

In contrast: the first 22 missions of Ariane 5 are scheduled to be flown in just 4 years: an average of a little over 5 missions per year, from the Get-Go.

Same for Atlas V: In its first 4 years it launched just 6 times. The next six launches took two years. After that it spent several more years at flying on average just 3 missions per year. Only after 2010, 8 years after its introduction, did it begin to routinely fly more than 5 missions per year.
 
Vulcan on the other hand is scheduled to launch 5 missions per year in its first 3 years of service. And ramping up flight cadence after that.


Much of the future launches for Vulcan Centaur was from the premature USAF "Block Buy" that allocated 60% of upcoming launches to ULA. Don't think ULA could win that high a percentage of future launches if they were bid for competitively.

That is a moot argument. DoD does not care how much it costs to launch its satellites. The only reason that there are now TWO NSSL certified contractors is because U.S. law dictated that DoD should allow another entrant into the NSSL market: for redundancy, not for cost-savings through competition. The same legislation does not force DoD to use competition to contract the launches. That is why 60% of the launches was appointed to ULA, with SpaceX getting only 40%. So, until the law is changed ULA will be fine, despite the fact that SpaceX does things cheaper.
« Last Edit: 10/10/2022 02:02 pm by woods170 »

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