The European Space Agency (ESA) has formally given the go-ahead for completion of the Ariane 6 development programme up to full operational capability.
The European Space Agency (ESA) has formally given the go-ahead for completion of the Ariane 6 development programme up to full operational capability and agreed to fund industrial incentives associated with the development of Ariane 6 and the P120C solid rocket motor.
The decisions were made at an ESA Council meeting in Paris on 14th June.
ESA member states also committed to start with the first step of the Ariane 6 and P120C Transition Programme. This programme supports the handover from Europe’s Ariane 5 to full operational capability of Ariane 6.
Ariane 6 is scheduled to make its first flight in mid-2020. The full transition to the new launcher is scheduled to be completed by 2022.
Ariane 6 is Europe’s new-generation launcher, designed to secure guaranteed access to space for Europe at an affordable price for European institutional users. It will operate in two configurations: Ariane 62 is fitted with two P120C strap-on boosters, while Ariane 64 has four.
P120C is the largest carbon-fibre solid propellant booster ever built in one segment at almost 13.5m long and about 3.4m in diameter. Two boosters will be used on Ariane 6’s maiden flight in 2020.