Space Ariane VI

Picanha

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About the upcoming Ariane VI

Construction work in Kourou French Guyana at the European Space Port.

The mobile gantry and other installations

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Rendering explaining the procedure

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The kick stage with the new re-ignatable BERTA engine has been proposed to ESA by Ariane Group.

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Video with in link:


The BERTA engine has been entirely manufactured by a 3D printing process.


This may be part of the five upgrades ArianeGroup wants Europe to consider for Ariane 6.

Europe’s Ariane 6 rocket is a year away from its maiden flight, but prime contractor ArianeGroup is already preparing upgrades its says can be introduced in the launcher’s first three years of service.

Bonguet said ArianeGroup is preparing to pitch a Continuous Improvement Program, or CIP, for Ariane 6 at the European Space Agency’s ministerial conference this month. “We think now that this launcher has some further potential to evolve, to decrease costs and improve performance and mission capability,” he said.

 
I'm a little bit worried for them. Their product is a huge rocket capable of hauling two big satellites into orbit (better than Ariane V) but I'm not sure that is where the market is, and with reusable rockets, SpaceX and perhaps even Blue Origin will propose much more competitive pricing.

Ariane had always a remarkable reliability but that competitive advantage seems gone.
 
The main issue right now is that funding for ESA was cut due to corona. The space market isn`t a free one lots of government subsidizing involved. The technologies developed for A VI are still useful no matter the downplaying and Ariane space is also developing reusable systems albeit in another way. The new engines and their production process are equally important as well as their progressive delivery system. It's all bit more faceted than it seems on a first glimpse.
 
P120C Final Hot Fire Test

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Vulcain 2.1 test

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The launch pad in March 2020

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Well the first launch slipped again now to 2Q 2022. Allegedly due to Corona.


Europe’s “best answer” to competition from SpaceX slips again, will cost more
The Ariane 6 was designed to be more cost effective to fly.

I see the need for a European launch System and it is necessary to fund it through taxes (SpaceX also profits from government launches). But I also see how they are outsmarted by SpaceX. No visions and a conservative leadership fighting over funds for their part of the EU coupled with a bureaucratic mindset are no good. They must change this. I also never understood why manned spaceflight is always evaded.

I hope this doesn`t remain so. Some lessons to be learned there.
 
Ariane 6 upper stage installed for tests | Timelapse

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Launchpad in January 2021

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Ariane 6 upper stage cryogenic connection system undergoes tests. Pyrotechnic actuators detonate to burst hinges open allowing the umbilicals to safely separate from Ariane 6. The supporting cryo-arms that hold the upper umbilicals then move out horizontally away from the launch vehicle to clear the way for liftoff

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Mini-masts protect Ariane 6 lower-stage umbilicals. At liftoff, umbilicals that separate from the lower liquid propulsion stage are pulled back into two mini masts on the launch pad. Steel doors slam shut to shield this cryogenic connector system from the rocket exhaust as ascent begins. This all happens in split seconds in a highly precise, synchronized sequence

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Ariane 6 complete upper stage. Integrated in October last year at ArianeGroup in Bremen, Germany, this ‘hot-firing model’ of the complete Ariane 6 upper stage is fully operational having undergone extensive functional tests. Its new reignitable Vinci engine is connected to two liquid hydrogen and oxygen tanks and is equipped with all lines, valves and electronic and hydraulic instrumentation and control systems

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Vulcain 2.1 static firing test. The main stage Vulcain 2.1 engine will deliver 135 t of thrust to propel Ariane 6 in the first eight minutes of flight up to an altitude of 200 km. A review in September 2019 marked the culmination of two Vulcain static firing test campaigns over 15 months on two demonstration models in test facilities at the DLR German Aerospace Center test facility in Lampoldshausen. The final qualification static firing test of Vulcain 2.1 in July lasted almost 11 minutes (655 seconds). This completed a total of 13,798 seconds of operation, or nearly four hours with a controlled engine, using Ariane 6 flight actuators to gimbal the engine. The engine will be refurbished for dynamic and vibration tests. Combined tests using a fully representative main stage at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, will finally qualify the Ariane 6 core stage for flight

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Vinci engine qualified in tests. Vinci is the re-ignitable engine of the upper stage that increases the operational flexibility of Ariane 6 and ensures that the engine safely deorbits at the end of the mission. This engine was successfully tested more than 140 times and reignited multiple times in succession in near vacuum to complete its qualification

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Point bending an insulated fairing Panel

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An ArianeGroup facility in Les Mureaux, France, hosts the largest friction stir welding machines in Europe for producing the Ariane 6 cryogenic tanks for Ariane 6’s core stage

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With the help of ESA, RUAG Space developed an out-of-autoclave process where the carbon-fibre shells of the rocket fairing are cured in an industrial oven instead of an autoclave. It reduces cost and saves time. - The first fairing manufactured in this way was flown on Ariane 5, flight VA238 on 28 June 2017. Vega began using the new type of fairing on 1 August 2017. Ariane 6 and Vega-C fairings will also be produced in the same way.

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Photo of the P120 C full-scale model in horizontal position


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Attaching the nozzle: The nozzle is attached to the P120C full-scale model solid rocket motor for Ariane 6 and Vega-C

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First Vulcain 2.1 engine assembled on new P3M mean

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Vinci combustion chamber (left) and first APU 3D-printed gas generator (right)

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A full-scale demonstrator of the thrust chamber for an upper-stage rocket engine incorporating the newest propulsion technologies is being prepared for its first hot firing
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This first test lasted 30 seconds and was carried out on 26 May 2020 at the DLR German Aerospace Center’s Lampoldshausen testing facility. Additional tests are planned next week. The data from this test campaign will be collected and analyzed (image credit: ArianeGroup GmbH)

This fully 3D-printed thrust chamber is built in just three parts and could power the upper stages of future rockets

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Developed by ArianeGroup within ESA’s Future Launchers Preparatory Program, this small-scale combustion chamber demonstrator helps to investigate flow and heat transfer phenomena on surfaces created by 3D printing – otherwise known as additive layer manufacturing. The photograph shows the combustion chamber and injector head, with the adapter rings for the DLR testing facility between them and a mounting plate. To the front, right is the igniter

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Lightweight black stage for Moon supply missions

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The 3D printed GKN Ariane 6 nozzle.

The Ariane 6 SWAN nozzle was delivered last week to Airbus Safran Launchers. Next year GKN plan to open a dedicated manufacturing center of excellence in Trollhättan, Sweden


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18 launches booked by Amazon for its Kuiper network.


 
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