The first launch of Ariane 6 is targeted for 9 July 2024 from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana

The first launch of Ariane 6 is targeted for 9 July 2024 from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher announced at the ILA Berlin Air Show.

Ariane 6 is Europe’s new heavy lift launch vehicle replacing its extremely successful predecessor, Ariane 5. Modular and agile, Ariane 6 has a reignitable upper stage allowing it to launch multiple missions on different orbits on a single flight.

ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher said: “Ariane 6 marks a new era of autonomous, versatile European space travel. This powerful rocket is the culmination of many years of dedication and ingenuity from thousands across Europe and, as it launches, it will re-establish Europe’s independent access to space. I am glad to announce that the first launch attempt will be on 9 July. I would like to thank the teams on the ground for their tireless hard work, teamwork and dedication in this last stretch of the inaugural launch campaign. Ariane 6 is Europe’s rocket for the needs of today, adaptable to our future ambitions.”

“With 30 missions in our order book, Ariane 6 has already gained the trust of institutional and commercial customers. We are preparing to make Ariane 6’s second launch by the end of the year, followed by a steady rise to around ten launches a year once we reach cruising speed. It represents a splendid challenge for Arianespace and our partners”, added Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace.

At Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, many and varied payloads have been integrated on Ariane 6’s payload carrier. The last major milestone before launch is the wet dress rehearsal. Once this activity has been completed, the Ariane 6 Task Force will provide a joint update on the inaugural flight.

To serve its international clients, Arianespace is present worldwide: in France (headquarters at Evry, near Paris), in the United States (Washington, D.C.), in Japan (Tokyo) and Singapore. Arianespace operates its launch services from South America, at the Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

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