Author Topic: Ariane 6 Discussion Thread: Place Your Ariane 6 Discussions Here  (Read 929921 times)

Offline launchwatcher

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I'd be curious if anyone has any real/actual insight into the reasons ArianeGroup created the new entity MaiaSpace for what would appear to be the next gen. From what I can tell, they're not expecting to develop something in parallel, under the ArianeGroup name. Large legacy companies in the US do this sort of thing in order to justify a different organizational structure/rules/payscale and to escape from costly legacy liabilities and commitments like union deals, pension plans, etc..
There are also engineering/project management motivations why you'd want to separate an advanced development group away from the legacy sustaining group - the separation means that the engineers (perhaps pulled from old projects on the sustaining side) freedom from distraction from the sustaining side of the business, whether it's simply interruptions, unhelpful process, irrelevant product requirements, etc.; the separation gives the freedom to ignore people who would think they were stakeholders were the separation not be present.

See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skunkworks_project

Offline TheKutKu

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I'd be curious if anyone has any real/actual insight into the reasons ArianeGroup created the new entity MaiaSpace for what would appear to be the next gen. From what I can tell, they're not expecting to develop something in parallel, under the ArianeGroup name. Large legacy companies in the US do this sort of thing in order to justify a different organizational structure/rules/payscale and to escape from costly legacy liabilities and commitments like union deals, pension plans, etc..
There are also engineering/project management motivations why you'd want to separate an advanced development group away from the legacy sustaining group - the separation means that the engineers (perhaps pulled from old projects on the sustaining side) freedom from distraction from the sustaining side of the business, whether it's simply interruptions, unhelpful process, irrelevant product requirements, etc.; the separation gives the freedom to ignore people who would think they were stakeholders were the separation not be present.

See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skunkworks_project

And Maiaspace is largely derived from Arianegroup's skunkwork.
I'd probably look into the IP and rights of Themis, also Maiaspace's planned commercialisation outside of Arianespace for answers.
« Last Edit: 11/14/2023 10:37 pm by TheKutKu »

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https://twitter.com/arianegroup/status/1725231211591737763

Quote
We've been discussing the deluge system, but maybe you'd like to see it in action. It's a system of huge valves at the base of #Ariane6 that open simultaneously as the rocket lifts off. It's an incredible sight to watch in slow motion. @esa @cnes @arianespace @europespaceport

Online HVM

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Was the static test burn ~one minute too short?

Chris seems to agree:
https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/status/1727792384887382347

ESA sounds like that everything is ok:
https://twitter.com/ESA_transport/status/1727793147713843281
« Last Edit: 11/23/2023 08:06 pm by HVM »

Online HVM

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https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/status/1727806234600878396

"The test includes the ignition of the core stage Vulcain 2.1 engine, followed by 470 seconds of stabilised operation covering the entire core stage flight phase, as it would function on a launch into space."

Shutdown at 7:03, 423 seconds - 3s start = still 44 seconds short?
« Last Edit: 11/23/2023 09:04 pm by HVM »

Offline hoku

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<snip>
"The test includes the ignition of the core stage Vulcain 2.1 engine, followed by 470 seconds of stabilised operation covering the entire core stage flight phase, as it would function on a launch into space."

Shutdown at 7:03, 423 seconds - 3s start = still 44 seconds short?
Ariane 62 VA262 aims for LEO. I couldn't find any official Ariane 6 mission timeline for LEO. The 2021 draft of the "Multi Launch Service" User's manual specifies that for GEO the LLPM should fire 472s, and 467s for LTO (Lunar Transfer Orbit). Thursday's test firing duration indeed might seem a bit short (unless they uprated Vulcain 2.1's performance/ISP compared to what has been assumed for the 2021 draft manual)?
« Last Edit: 11/26/2023 02:29 pm by hoku »

Offline TheKutKu

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<snip>
"The test includes the ignition of the core stage Vulcain 2.1 engine, followed by 470 seconds of stabilised operation covering the entire core stage flight phase, as it would function on a launch into space."

Shutdown at 7:03, 423 seconds - 3s start = still 44 seconds short?
Ariane 62 VA262 aims for LEO. I couldn't find any official Ariane 6 mission timeline for LEO. The 2021 draft of the "Multi Launch Service" User's manual specifies that for GEO the LLPM should fire 472s, and 467s for LTO (Lunar Transfer Orbit). Thursday's test firing duration indeed might seem a bit short (unless they uprated Vulcain 2.1's performance/ISP compared to what has been assumed for the 2021 draft manual)?

https://air-cosmos.com/article/le-premier-etage-d-ariane-6-passe-le-cap-du-combined-test-hot-fire-en-guyane-67983

"It operated nominally at steady state for 426 seconds (7 minutes and 6 seconds), i.e. the entire flight phase - the stated target of 470 seconds firing time (7 minutes and 50 seconds) was a maximum target, and the minimum to be achieved was 250 seconds (4 minutes and 10 seconds)."

According to a CSG worker, 427 seconds "largely exceeded minimum requirements"

Online GWR64

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<snip>
"The test includes the ignition of the core stage Vulcain 2.1 engine, followed by 470 seconds of stabilised operation covering the entire core stage flight phase, as it would function on a launch into space."

Shutdown at 7:03, 423 seconds - 3s start = still 44 seconds short?
Ariane 62 VA262 aims for LEO. I couldn't find any official Ariane 6 mission timeline for LEO. The 2021 draft of the "Multi Launch Service" User's manual specifies that for GEO the LLPM should fire 472s, and 467s for LTO (Lunar Transfer Orbit). Thursday's test firing duration indeed might seem a bit short (unless they uprated Vulcain 2.1's performance/ISP compared to what has been assumed for the 2021 draft manual)?

https://air-cosmos.com/article/le-premier-etage-d-ariane-6-passe-le-cap-du-combined-test-hot-fire-en-guyane-67983

"It operated nominally at steady state for 426 seconds (7 minutes and 6 seconds), i.e. the entire flight phase - the stated target of 470 seconds firing time (7 minutes and 50 seconds) was a maximum target, and the minimum to be achieved was 250 seconds (4 minutes and 10 seconds)."

According to a CSG worker, 427 seconds "largely exceeded minimum requirements"

I don't understand the statement. What made the test end early? Was the fuel used up, was the time programmed that way beforehand, was there a problem?

Offline cpushack

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Quote
"The test includes the ignition of the core stage Vulcain 2.1 engine, followed by 470 seconds of stabilised operation covering the entire core stage flight phase, as it would function on a launch into space."

Yet 250 seconds (which would be a failed launch) was acceptable for the test?

I guess steady state is what they were after, and anything more then 250 seconds was a nice bonus.

Offline catdlr

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Inside Ariane 6 Launch Pad

"almost as tall as the Statue of Liberty" is obviously targeted for American viewers.  (I know France constructed it)

« Last Edit: 11/27/2023 09:04 am by catdlr »
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Offline hoku

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Inside Ariane 6 Launch Pad
"almost as tall as the Statue of Liberty" is obviously targeted for American viewers.  (I know France constructed it)
<snip>
How high is this in fractional tour Eiffel?

Offline woods170

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Inside Ariane 6 Launch Pad
"almost as tall as the Statue of Liberty" is obviously targeted for American viewers.  (I know France constructed it)
<snip>
How high is this in fractional tour Eiffel?

The Statue of Liberty, including its base and pedestal, has a height of 93 meters.
The Ariane 6 Mobile Gantry has a height of 90 meters.
La tour Eiffel has a height of 300 meters (330 meters if you include the tip).

So, the Ariane 6 Mobile Gantry is less than one-third the height of the Eiffel tower.

Offline Targeteer

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How common are full duration, on the pad tests for new launchers?  I can't recall any previously, but I'm probably wrong, as usual.  The stress on both the vehicle and ground infrastructure would seem extreme and what is gained at this cost besides proving the propulsion system will operate full duration, while on the ground not undergoing acceleration, not in space?
Best quote heard during an inspection, "I was unaware that I was the only one who was aware."

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Also for Ariane 5 the first stage had a full duration burn test on ELA-3.

Online mn

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How common are full duration, on the pad tests for new launchers?  I can't recall any previously, but I'm probably wrong, as usual.  The stress on both the vehicle and ground infrastructure would seem extreme and what is gained at this cost besides proving the propulsion system will operate full duration, while on the ground not undergoing acceleration, not in space?

It's worth noting that the test is only running the Vulcain engine, which generates only a fraction of the regular liftoff thrust with at least 2 SRBs

Offline briantipton

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How common are full duration, on the pad tests for new launchers?  I can't recall any previously, but I'm probably wrong, as usual.  The stress on both the vehicle and ground infrastructure would seem extreme and what is gained at this cost besides proving the propulsion system will operate full duration, while on the ground not undergoing acceleration, not in space?
The SLS conducted a full duration static firing (aka "Green Run") prior to its first launch. Like the Ariane, this was for the core liquid fueled stage only, not the Solid Rocket Boosters so the vehicle and ground infrastructure did not experience the stress of an actual launch.

Online GWR64

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<snip>
"The test includes the ignition of the core stage Vulcain 2.1 engine, followed by 470 seconds of stabilised operation covering the entire core stage flight phase, as it would function on a launch into space."

Shutdown at 7:03, 423 seconds - 3s start = still 44 seconds short?
Ariane 62 VA262 aims for LEO. I couldn't find any official Ariane 6 mission timeline for LEO. The 2021 draft of the "Multi Launch Service" User's manual specifies that for GEO the LLPM should fire 472s, and 467s for LTO (Lunar Transfer Orbit). Thursday's test firing duration indeed might seem a bit short (unless they uprated Vulcain 2.1's performance/ISP compared to what has been assumed for the 2021 draft manual)?

https://air-cosmos.com/article/le-premier-etage-d-ariane-6-passe-le-cap-du-combined-test-hot-fire-en-guyane-67983

"It operated nominally at steady state for 426 seconds (7 minutes and 6 seconds), i.e. the entire flight phase - the stated target of 470 seconds firing time (7 minutes and 50 seconds) was a maximum target, and the minimum to be achieved was 250 seconds (4 minutes and 10 seconds)."

According to a CSG worker, 427 seconds "largely exceeded minimum requirements"

I don't understand the statement. What made the test end early? Was the fuel used up, was the time programmed that way beforehand, was there a problem?

The answer in the article by Karin Sturm:
Quote
...
ESA officials also revealed the reason behind the early shutdown of the Vulcain 2.1 engine during the Nov. 23 long-duration hot-fire test. The engine had been expected to fire for 470 seconds, “nearly eight minutes,” as reported frequently before the test. However, the test ultimately lasted for only 426 seconds.

According to ESA Director of Space Transportation Toni Tolker-Nielsen, the cause of the early shutdown was a combination of a faulty sensor and conservatively set fuel limit parameters. “One of the sensors, based on this very narrow threshold, was declared invalid,” explained Tolker-Nielsen. The subsequent early shutdown occurred “in order to protect the launch pad.”

This problem, however, would not present itself during actual flight conditions. “This is not an issue whatsoever on the performance because this is linked to the test on the ground. This early switch-off would not happen in flight,” said Aschbacher. “It would only have happened 1.5 seconds before the planned shutdown. We are very confident that the test was a full success.”...

Online GWR64

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Does anyone know which Ariane 6 contractor(s) is (are) meant here?

Quote
.@CNES, @esa to #Ariane6 contractors: Price gouging will be found out, audited and rejected. You agreed to an average 11% price cut. That starts now.

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/1730229331115303332
___

Quote
The European Space Agency (ESA) issued a strong warning to contractors supplying components for its new Ariane 6 rocket. They will be barred from raising prices over and above their originally quoted costs – and that ESA expects prices to be reduced.

Phillippe Baptiste, head of France’s CNES space agency, said this was not the time to be politically correct, and was blunt in stating “We will not accept that some suppliers take advantage of this programme. This is not acceptable and not possible. There have been some suppliers that have increased their costs by incredible amounts. We all know this. This is unacceptable. Competitiveness starts by reducing the cost of the supply chain all over Europe. This has to be done now. Not in 10 years’ time but now.”
Source: https://advanced-television.com/2023/12/01/esa-issues-warning-to-ariane-6-suppliers/
« Last Edit: 12/03/2023 12:28 pm by GWR64 »

Offline EnigmaSCADA

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Does anyone know which Ariane 6 contractor(s) is (are) meant here?

Quote
.@CNES, @esa to #Ariane6 contractors: Price gouging will be found out, audited and rejected. You agreed to an average 11% price cut. That starts now.

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/1730229331115303332

I love the thought/attitude but it's hard to believe when there's a loooong history of capitulation on exactly this. Part of the problem with uncompetitive public procurement markets. What are they going to do if the contractors say "no, the price is the price, take it or leave it!"? Are they willing to wait, thus delaying A6 even further, for an alternative supplier? The home country of the supplier might even have a fit. This has always been the trouble of space unfortunately, until recently there was never any sort of competition within a political/sovereign territory to provide space services, it was either full on government or just one or two contractors. Europe desperately needs to emulate COTS to jump start its nascent "New Space"/private companies and entrepreneurs into competition.

Offline Zed_Noir

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......Europe desperately needs to emulate COTS to jump start its nascent "New Space"/private companies and entrepreneurs into competition.

Sadly, the window for Europe to have it's own "New Space" as part of the future space launch provider market have passed.

Much more important for Europe now is getting Ariane 64 operational as quickly as possible. It is the only somewhat viable near future commercial launcher for Europe.

The less capable Ariane 62 and Vega-C/E have price themselves out of the future commercial market.

Unless the current leading launch provider falters badly. There will be no major commercial competitors for the foreseeable future, IMO.

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