Four billion project: New European launch vehicle Ariane 6…

Launched from Grove Space Airport in French Guiana. The start was postponed earlier.

Ariane 6, the new European launch vehicle, was launched for the first time. The rocket lifted off from the European Space Station in Gouro, French Guiana at around 9 p.m. After ten years of waiting, it is intended to free Europe’s space industry from the crisis in its missile sector. Ariane 6 succeeds Ariane 5, which was in use from 1996 to summer 2023.

It was intended to carry satellites into space for commercial and public customers and was significantly cheaper than its predecessors. The ship also has Austrian technology. For ESA boss Josef Aschbacher from Tyrol, Ariane 6 represents a new era of autonomous and versatile spaceflight.

Austria also participated in the construction of the 540-ton Ariane rocket

13 European countries, including Austria, participated in the construction of the 56-meter-tall, 540-ton rocket. For example, company Beyond Gravity Austria provided high-temperature thermal insulation for the drives and high-tech company TTTech contributed parts of the data network. Research fund FFG said ahead of the launch that each Ariane 6 would generate around 500,000 euros in sales for Austrian companies.

The development of the rocket was decided a decade ago. Aschbacher firmly believes that Rocket still meets the current challenges. ESA praises Ariane 6 as modular and flexible. Depending on the mission, it can be equipped with two or four boosters and can carry different payloads in a short or long shell.

However, space expert Martin Tajmar from TU Dresden says that despite the innovations compared to its predecessor Ariane 6, the rocket is by no means up-to-date. In 2015, American company SpaceX ushered in the era of reusable space travel with the Falcon 9 rocket. (APA)

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