24/7 Space News
Ariane 6 Core Stage fires up for long-duration test
illustration only
Ariane 6 Core Stage fires up for long-duration test
by Erica Marchand
Paris, France (SPX) Nov 24, 2023

In a significant step towards the maiden flight of Ariane 6, the collaborative efforts of ArianeGroup, the French Space Agency (CNES), and the European Space Agency (ESA) culminated in the successful execution of a long-duration hot-fire test of the Ariane 6 core stage. This test, conducted on November 23, 2023, at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana, marks a pivotal advancement in the launch vehicle's development.

The recent hot-fire test is a continuation of Ariane 6's intensive testing regimen, building upon earlier milestones. These include the initial integration of the Ariane 6 launcher on its launch pad, comprehensive electrical and fluids functional qualification tests, and the first launch sequence tests. These earlier assessments, conducted on July 18, September 5, and October 23 of 2023, encompassed a range of critical procedures, from countdown sequence rehearsals to a 30-hour-long launch sequence and various qualification tests on several launch system functions.

The November 23 test sequence replicated a realistic launch scenario, featuring a final countdown, the removal of the mobile gantry, and the fueling of the launcher's tanks with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen at extremely low temperatures. The culmination of the test was marked by the ignition of the core stage Vulcain 2.1 engine, followed by over seven minutes of stabilized operation, simulating the entire core stage flight phase.

This test was crucial in evaluating all functional aspects of Ariane 6's core stage during its flight phase. Its success has significantly contributed to the qualification of the launch sequence operations and the Ariane 6 launcher, especially the core stage. Notably, the Ariane 6 upper stage has already been hot-fire tested on its inaugural flight mission profile at the test bench in Lampoldshausen, Germany, on September 1, in a joint effort by ArianeGroup, the German Space Agency (DLR), and ESA.

Martin Sion, CEO of ArianeGroup, commented on the achievement, stating, "Successfully completing such complex stage tests is a real industrial feat and I would like to congratulate the teams from ArianeGroup and all our partners, particularly ESA, CNES, and DLR, on the high quality of their work. On this final stretch towards the first flight, we still have to carry out a few additional tests to demonstrate fault tolerance, deliver the first launcher to Kourou, and perform the launch system qualification review."

Philippe Baptiste, Chairman and CEO of CNES, also expressed his views on this significant milestone: "The success of this long-duration hot-fire test of the Vulcain engine enabling us to validate operation of the core stage is very good news, taking us closer to Ariane 6's inaugural flight. We have accomplished this key milestone thanks to the unrelenting efforts of the teams at CNES, ArianeGroup, and ESA. The ever-growing body of data collected and analyzed accumulated through weeks of testing enables our teams to understand and master this new launch system. Ariane 6 is above all a great team effort."

ESA's Director General, Josef Aschbacher, also praised the collaborative effort, stating, "The teams at ArianeGroup, CNES, and ESA have now completed every step of the launcher's flight without it ever leaving Earth. This test is a key milestone that comes after years of design, planning, preparation, construction and hard work by some of Europe's very best space engineers. We are back on track to re-establish Europe's autonomous access to space. Well done everyone!"

The completion of this test represents a critical step towards the final qualification of the entire launch system, encompassing both the launcher and the launch site. The Ariane 6 program, managed and funded by ESA, sees ArianeGroup as the industrial lead contractor and design authority for the launcher. This responsibility extends to the development, production, and marketing of the launcher, conducted through its subsidiary, Arianespace. Meanwhile, CNES, in partnership with ArianeGroup, oversees the construction of the dedicated launch pad for Ariane 6 in Kourou and conducts the combined tests under ESA's supervision.

This collaborative and rigorous testing process underscores Europe's commitment to maintaining a competitive edge in the global space industry and ensuring independent access to space. The successful completion of these tests brings Ariane 6 one step closer to its much-anticipated inaugural flight, marking a significant milestone in European space endeavors.

Related Links
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

The following news reports may link to other Space Media Network websites.
Nighttime rehearsal for Ariane 6 towards first flight
Paris (ESA) Oct 30, 2023
Yesterday, a team of CNES, ESA, Arianespace and ArianeGroup personnel at Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, completed a full-scale wet rehearsal of the new Ariane 6 rocket that was fuelled and then drained of its fuel. The test lasted over 30 hours with three teams working in shifts of 10 hours each. The goal was to increase the robustness of the launch system and to test emergency safety procedures with an interruption of the countdown from simulated anomalies. The wet rehearsal - ... read more

NASA awards $2.3 million to study growing food in lunar dust

U.S. and Saudi Arabia explore space for peaceful purposes

Earth bacteria could make lunar soil more habitable for plants

Big bang: Dutch firm eyes space baby

NASA, small companies eye new cargo delivery, heat shield technologies

Ariane 6 Core Stage fires up for long-duration test

Boosting rocket reliability at the material level

Heat Shield demo passes the test dubbed 'Just flawless'

Farewell, Solar Conjunction 2023: Sols 4023-4024

California lawmakers ask NASA not to cut Mars budget

Was There Life on Mars

Perseverance's Parking Spot

China's Lunar Samples on Display in Macao to Inspire Future Explorers

China Manned Space Agency Delegation Highlights SARs' Role in Space Program

Shanghai Sets Sights on Expanding Space Industry with Ambitious 2025 Goals

Wenchang Set to Become China's Premier Commercial Space Launch Hub by Next Year

SpaceX launches more Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral

Instruments led by IRF selected for ESA potential future mission to either Mars or Earth's Orbit

A major boost for space skills and research in North East England

Ovzon and SSC close to sealing satellite communication contract worth $10M

China launches tech-experiment satellite

A satellite's death spiral

Beyond Gravity unveils reusable payload fairing concept

Tackling the Growing Challenge of Space Debris

First extragalactic exoplanet disc spotted outside of the Milky Way

Deformable Mirrors in Space: Key Technology to Directly Image Earth Twins

Alien haze, cooked in a lab, clears view to distant water worlds

Astronomers find 'tilted' planets even in pristine solar systems

Unwrapping Uranus and its icy moon secrets

Juice burns hard towards first-ever Earth-Moon flyby

Fall into an ice giant's atmosphere

Juno finds Jupiter's winds penetrate in cylindrical layers

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2023 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.