The European Space Agency hopes to launch its new-generation Ariane 6 rocket “as soon as possible” as Europe faces a gap in its access to space.
Europe’s Ariane 6 rocket passes key test
Europe has carried out successful hot-firing tests of the Ariane 6 launcher and aims to launch its new-generation rocket “as soon as possible” while maintaining a broad end-year target, the European Space Agency says.
Friday’s tests, carried out in near-vacuum conditions at a facility in Germany, ran for up to 975 seconds and came as a “huge relief” after an earlier test was interrupted, ESA director of space transportation Daniel Neuenschwander said.
The hot-firing tests are one of three main hurdles before launch, alongside combined tests with the launcher in French Guiana and delivery of hardware.
The rocket is being developed by ArianeGroup, co-owned by Airbus and Safran.