Europe’s next-generation heavy-lift rocket simply took a giant step in direction of its first, much-awaited launch.
The rocket’s core stage Vulcain 2.1 engine burned liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen for 4 seconds on a launch pad at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on Sept. 5.
The new firing went easily and to plan, following earlier delays to the take a look at schedule. It marks important progress because the European House Company (ESA) and the rocket’s builders look to get the launcher flying subsequent yr.
Associated: Europe hopes to announce Ariane 6 debut flight date by the top of October
ESA oversaw the take a look at carried out by French area company CNES and prime contractor ArianeGroup. It concerned a launch sequence and closing countdown consultant of a launch, ESA stated.
“This profitable hot-fire take a look at of the core stage dietary supplements the take a look at carried out on July 18 and is a serious step in direction of qualification of Ariane 6, as a result of we’ve got notably validated all of the operations wanted to run a whole launch marketing campaign,” stated Martin Sion, CEO of ArianeGroup, in a assertion.
The rocket used for testing will not be taking to the skies, nevertheless.
“The Ariane 6 rocket now put in on the launch pad is just not supposed for flight — the strong rocket boosters are inert — however it’s nearly equivalent to a flight mannequin for functions of testing,” an ESA assertion learn.
Ariane 6 is Europe’s new-generation, expendable launcher that may take over from the not too long ago retired workhorse Ariane 5.
It was initially deliberate to start flights in 2020 however has been hit by a sequence of delays. The launcher is now, nevertheless, coming into the ultimate stretches of its take a look at marketing campaign.
The rocket’s higher stage carried out a got here by a sizzling fireplace take a look at on the German Aerospace Middle’s (DLR) amenities in Lampoldshausen, Germany, on Sept. 1.
Subsequent up, a take a look at scheduled for Oct. 3 will see the rocket’s Vulcain 2.1 engine fireplace for 470 seconds.
If all goes nicely, Europe hopes to announce the date for the Ariane 6 debut flight by the top of October.