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Ariane 6 rocket on its launch pad for the first time

Ariane 6 rocket on its launch pad for the first time

Central body Ariane 6 rocket First installed at its launch site in Grove, a “decisive stepArianegroup and Cnes announced on Tuesday July 12 for the first pre-flight tests scheduled for 2023.

Assembled horizontally in a building 800 meters apart, the central body – the main floor and the upper floor – was rolled “Thanks to its four automated guided vehicles, its launch pad can travel horizontally for about twenty minutes at a speed of 3 km/h.“, the rocket’s manufacturer and the French space agency responsible for the launch pad assembly (ELA 4) detailed in a press release.

“Especially important step”

The central body was then placed upright. It should now be attached to the four boosters (auxiliary thrusters) already positioned on the launch pad. These are filled with passive components for testing. The fairing containing the payload must still be attached to the top of the central body and the liquid oxygen and hydrogen tanks must be filled before fire tests of the Vulcan 2.1 rocket engine. This copy of the rocket, dedicated to ground tests, will not fly. “The first meeting between Ariane 6 and its launch pad is a particularly important and symbolic step after all these years of parallel development between factories in Europe and this exceptional project.“, congratulated André-Hubert Roussel, President of Arianegroup, quoted in the press release.

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For CNES President Philippe Baptiste, “Everything is in place for Ariane 6’s qualification to result in a first flight as soon as possible“.so-called testsjoined“purpose”Test all interfaces and good communications between the Ariane 6 launcher and its launch pad“, according to Arianegroup and Cnes. They should also make it possible to test flight software, control benches and operations such as filling and emptying tanks. At the same time, a copy of the upper stage of the rocket can re-ignite its engine, which should still be material “Fire tests” in Germany. These were originally scheduled for February.

See more – Ariane 5 successfully launched, two telecommunications satellites placed in orbit