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Ariane 6 Main Engine Ignition: Rocket Hot Fire Test Highlight Video

Artist’s view of the configuration of Ariane 6 using four boosters (A64). Credit: ESA – D. Ducros

Cinq, quatre, trois, deux, un. Allumage Vulcain! This is the moment Ariane 6’s main engine was sparked into life, and the entire main stage of the new rocket and the many parts of the launch pad in Kourou, French Guiana, practiced for the full duration of a launch. Of course, as planned, the test model did not leave the ground.

Without its boosters, instead of piercing the clouds Ariane 6’ created its own on Earth: a clean byproduct of the Vulcain 2.1 engine’s oxygen and hydrogen propellants, which came together to send out impressive swirls of H2O.

After the almost 150 tonnes of propellant was burnt through and the clouds dispersed, the curtains closed on the successful rehearsal. The data from thousands of monitors around the rocket will be crunched in the coming weeks to learn all that’s needed for Ariane’s next, real, flight.

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For more on this test, see Ariane 6’s Hot Fire Rocket Engine Test.

Ariane 6 is a European expendable launch vehicle being developed by the European Space AgencyThe European Space Agency (ESA) is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration and study of space. ESA was established in 1975 and has 22 member states, with its headquarters located in Paris, France. ESA is responsible for the development and coordination of Europe's space activities, including the design, construction, and launch of spacecraft and satellites for scientific research and Earth observation. Some of ESA's flagship missions have included the Rosetta mission to study a comet, the Gaia mission to create a 3D map of the Milky Way, and the ExoMars mission to search for evidence of past or present life on Mars.” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]”>European Space Agency (ESA) in collaboration with ArianeGroup. It is designed to be a more flexible and cost-effective successor to the Ariane 5 rocket. Ariane 6 is intended to maintain Europe’s competitive edge in the global satellite launch market.

There are two main variants of Ariane 6: the Ariane 62, with two solid rocket boosters, and the Ariane 64, with four. This modular approach allows it to cater to a wide range of missions, from delivering commercial satellites into geostationary orbit to sending payloads to deeper space.

One of the key features of Ariane 6 is its use of updated technology, including a more efficient Vulcain 2.1 main engine and an improved upper stage engine, the Vinci. These enhancements aim to increase payload capacity and reduce operational costs.

Ariane 6 is part of Europe’s broader strategy to remain a significant player in the space industry, offering a reliable and versatile launch option for both governmental and commercial customers. The rocket is expected to have its inaugural flight in the near future, marking a significant milestone in European space capabilities.

Source: SciTechDaily