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posted by Fnord666 on Saturday June 24 2017, @01:11PM   Printer-friendly
from the go-for-primary-ignition dept.

Manufacturers say they are making rapid progress in the development of Europe's new rocket - the Ariane 6.

The vehicle is due to enter service in 2020, gradually replacing the existing workhorse, the Ariane 5.

The prime contractor, the recently rebranded ArianeGroup, gave an update on the status of the programme here at this week's Paris Air Show.

"We're on track with our roadmap and Ariane 6 is progressing very well," CEO Alain Charmeau told BBC News.

"Perhaps the most spectacular highlight at the moment is the testing of our Vinci engine. It's a brand new engine that will be on our new, versatile upper-stage. And on Monday we had another successful test. We're now well above 100 hundred tests."

The Vinci can be stopped and restarted multiple times. It will permit the Ariane 6 to conduct a broader range of missions than its predecessor.

It can also bring the upper-stage out of orbit after it has dropped off the satellite payload. This is a nod to the tightening "clean space" requirements that demand rocket operators leave as little debris in space as possible.

Also mentioned were the A62 and A64 variants which feature a central, liquid-fueled (hydrogen and oxygen) core combined with either 2 or 4 solid-fueled boosters.

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  • (Score: 2) by Knowledge Troll on Saturday June 24 2017, @01:33PM (2 children)

    by Knowledge Troll (5948) on Saturday June 24 2017, @01:33PM (#530551) Homepage Journal

    Ariane 5 flight 501 []

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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by khallow on Saturday June 24 2017, @06:11PM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 24 2017, @06:11PM (#530636) Journal
    First launches of new rockets (the above accident was the first launch of the Ariane 5) are accident prone. There's a good chance of boom for the first half dozen or so launches which should decline substantially after that.
  • (Score: 3, Funny) by fishybell on Saturday June 24 2017, @07:12PM

    by fishybell (3156) on Saturday June 24 2017, @07:12PM (#530659)

    What's with the ESA and software errors []? I mean, it's not like NASA ever had that problem [].