Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Europe’s new Ariane 6 rocket successfully takes off

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Ariane 6 has been in development for almost a decade with the aim of putting Europe’s rockets on the map.

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Europe’s launcher Ariane 6 has officially blasted off from its Spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana.

The European Space Agency posted on X to celebrate its launch, which is part of an effort to put Europe on the map for launching satellites and distinguish it from competitors such as Elon Musk.

Although the rocket successfully took off from its port, the agency will only be able to declare the launch an official success after over an hour of successful flight.

Before that, engineers are still able to terminate the mission if the rocket shows signs of straying from its planned pathway.

Such launches typically have a high rate of failure.

Much is hanging in the balance for the launch to be a success after Ariane 6’s predecessor, the Ariane 5, was retired.

The Ariane 6 itself was delayed for several years due to a cluster of issues including the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The rocket hopes to be cheaper than its predecessor and is a fully European creation — developed by thirteen European countries led by France.

“Ariane 6 will power Europe into space. Ariane 6 will make history,” commented Josef Aschbacher, the director general of the European Space Agency before the launch.

The rocket is built by French company ArianeGroup and operated by subsidiary Arianespace on behalf of the European Space Agency.

If this launch is a success, the rocket will take part in its maiden commercial mission with a French spy satellite in December.

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