Ariane 6: how to follow the inaugural flight of the European rocket?

Ariane 6: how to follow the inaugural flight of the European rocket?
Ariane 6: how to follow the inaugural flight of the European rocket?

On Tuesday, July 9, the Ariane 6 rocket is due to leave Earth from the launch pad at the Guiana Space Center for its very first launch.

TF1info tells you everything you need to know to follow its flight live on the Internet.

D-Day is approaching for Ariane 6. The new European launcher is scheduled to make its maiden flight on Tuesday, July 9 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou (French Guiana), from where no rocket has taken off since the final flight of Ariane 5 in July 2023. After fifteen years of development, the first flight of Ariane 6, initially planned for 2020, should allow Europe to regain autonomous access to space. TF1info tells you everything you need to know to follow this event live on the Internet.

Where to watch the launch?

The launch date has been set for July 9. Take-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. (Paris time)with a possible postponement of up to three hours after the initially scheduled time, i.e. 11 p.m. The flight will be broadcast live on YouTube channel of the European Space Agency (ESA). In the event of technical problems or bad weather conditions, the launch could be postponed by 24 or 48 hours, until July 10 or 11. According to the flight plan announced by ESA, the mission should last exactly 2 hours, 51 minutes and 40 seconds.

The different phases of flight

After firing, the two 22 m high boosters, which help the rocket take off, will burn for a little over two minutes (135 seconds) and will detach from the main stage. Then, at an altitude of 110 km, the rocket’s fairing, designed to protect the payloads, will be ejected (at 220 seconds). The upper part of the rocket will then have to separate from the main stage and ignite its engine (at 461 seconds) before releasing the eleven payloads on board (nine small satellites and two capsules acting as demonstrators), as in the animation below.

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Since the farewell flight of the Ariane 5 rocket on July 5, 2023, Europeans have no longer been able to put a satellite into orbit by themselves. Ariane 6 is intended to give Europe independent access to space in the face of the behemoth SpaceX, which is planning 144 Falcon 9 launches during 2024. The new European heavy launcher is versatile, with a re-ignitable upper stage allowing it to place several satellites in different orbits during the same flight. But unlike Elon Musk’s rockets, this one is not reusable.


Matthieu DELACHARLERY

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