Ariane 6, directly fueled – Space & Astronomy

Ariane 6, directly fueled – Space & Astronomy

Towards launch

postpone for an hour
Ariane 6 launch postponed for an hour From 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm Italy time, due to a “Small problem” in getting the detected data on the ground part After removing the moving structure that protected the launch pad on the ramp until this morning. The European Space Agency reported that The problem has been resolved Is that The launch is now scheduled to take place no later than 9.00pm Italian time.

I startedto Download propellant
The loading of propellant for the main engine and upper stage of the Ariane 6 launch pad has begun, after a glitch in the data acquisition system that delayed the launch by an hour was resolved, and operations resumed in preparation for launch. The loading of propellants is one of the key elements. “It is a delicate operation, which will take about two hours to pump 180 tonnes of liquid hydrogen and oxygen,” wrote ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher on the X website.

Propellant loading complete
The loading of propellant into the tanks of the engines that power the main and upper stages of the Ariane 6 launcher has been completed, “all the lights are green – say the European Space Agency experts – and the operations are proceeding quickly.” of the launch.

Live broadcast of the launch

Betting on the future of the European space economy

The new European launcher is It is destined to represent a step forward for the space economy in Europe.Thank you Ability to carry multiple loadsrelease them In different orbits.

“Ariane 6 is definitely the right launch platform for the commercial market.”Tony Tolker-Nielsen, director of space transportation at the European Space Agency, told the Italian news agency ANSA: Launch of the .. take-off of the .. take-off of the Today is a test anyway.In it is the jug Their payloads will be launched into the same orbit, but at different times: first the cubesats, 14 in total between 5 experiments and 9 technology demonstrations, both from research institutions and private companies. Only then are the two return capsules, one from the company and the other from ArianeGroup, expected to be launched.This will happen when the upper stage descends to a lower orbit to re-enter the atmosphere and burn up. Both capsules and the parts of the Ariane 6 upper stage that survived the collision will face the possibility of a controlled re-entry into the Pacific Ocean.

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“The biggest success would be to get all the satellites into orbit,” Tolker-Nielsen said again.. “But on this trip, even the launch alone will be successful.”

You will have to wait an hour after launch to make sure that everything went well and the new launcher is ready to go. “I am confident because we have done everything that needs to be done,” Tolker-Nielsen said again. “If everything goes well – For Ariane 6 I am 6 launches expected in 2025 and 8 in 2026

Jens Franzik, chief operating officer of ArianeGroup, the company that heads the 13-nation industrial consortium, including Italy, which built the launch pad, also expressed “confidence and pride.” Cyril Bonroy, the inaugural flight director for Arianespace, the company that runs the launch, is also “very confident about the launch.”

“Everything is going well” also for Karine Leveaux, director of space transportation at the French space agency Cnes. For her, “the biggest challenge is the final re-ignition” of the Vinci engine, the upper stage engine designed to ignite multiple times to launch satellites and to descend one last time into the Earth’s atmosphere, where it burns up on impact to release the satellites. Limiting the pollution generated in orbit by space debris.

video Ariane 6, here is the launcher to build the future

Launcher ready for a journey of great challenges

What Europe’s new Ariane 6 launcher is preparing to face today, from the European Space Centre in Kourou, is… A journey full of challenges and firstsa kind of grand acceptance test for what was to become the new regulation of space activities, as the arrival of individuals imposed new rules and new numbers.

“For the predecessors of Ariane 6, Ariane 4 and Ariane 5, institutional missions represented 89% of the launch market,” Lucia Linares, ESA’s head of strategy and institutional launches, told ANSA. “But in the last 10 years we have seen an evolution and A new market has been born, launching hundreds of satellites a year, and it is a multi-use market, which is critical to enter.

It is specifically linked to the new Ariane 6 offerings for this new reality.The biggest challenges the launch pad will face on its first flight. “After the moment of launch, which is always accompanied by great tension, “The big challenge will be the separation of the upper stage, in which the new Vinci engine will play a very important role.” It is actually a re-ignitable engine, with a liquid propellant like the Vulcan 2.1 engine in the main stage. This engine is the one that is turned on and off several times to release the payloads located at the top of the launch pad, the nose cone, to different orbits.The latter has also been designed with a new technology, allowing it to open longitudinally.

Although there will be many tense moments, this launch still offers the advantage of a very large three-hour window. This means that if problems arise or if the weather isn’t quite right, there will be three hours to get the launch underway.

At work since dawn getting ready to take off

At the European base in Kourou, preparations for the launch began very early: it was still dark when the door to the giant building, which technicians call the “portable gallery” opened. It was 90 metres high and weighed more than eight tonnes and had protected Ariane 6 since its arrival at the launch pad. From afar, the opening in the building was a bright spot against the forest.

Meanwhile, the platforms surrounding the launcher were removed and at first light the moving gallery began to slowly retract from the launch pad so as not to damage it, reaching a distance of 140 metres in about an hour. From that moment on, the launcher remained alone on the ramp. At 56 metres high and 5.4 metres in diameter, the Ariane 6 will face its first flight in a configuration called the A 62, which features two side boosters, smaller than the A 64, which has four boosters.

Once the weather report indicated that conditions were favorable for launch, the green light also came for fuel loading operations. The first step in this direction is to cool the cryogenic lines, i.e. the propellant transfer channels, which must be kept at a temperature of 250 degrees below zero, a process that takes about an hour. Once completed, liquid oxygen and hydrogen can be loaded into the tanks that will power the Vulcain 2.1 engine in the main stage and the Vinci re-ignitable engine in the upper stage.

“At this point, a delicate balancing act begins, which is to regulate the pressure of the tanks and the temperature of the propellant at the same time,” says Pier Domenico Resta, who is responsible for the launch system and integration of Ariane 6 for ESA. “All the electrical systems are checked, and the algorithms used take some time, but they are crucial procedures in view of the flight,” he adds.

Why are weather forecasts important?

Despite the rain, the weather forecast is good considering the launch of Ariane 6 at the European Space Centre in Kourou (French Guiana). At the moment, the forecast for the launch of Ariane 6, confirmed at 8 pm Italian time, is positive for both parameters. The weather is constantly monitored and the next critical forecast is expected 20 minutes and then 10 minutes after launch.

“The rain is not a danger,” says Massimiliano Costantini, head of weather and launch safety at the French space agency Cnes.Our goals are to protect people and protect the shooter.“And he continues, winds It’s the main parameter we consider with lightning. If the latter is a hazard to the launch pad, knowing the wind strength and direction, as well as the conditions in the upper atmosphere, is very important for the stability of the launch pad and for the safety of population centers. “In terms of people’s safety, the wind is more important because if the launch pad explodes, the wind can carry debris very far” and pose a hazard if it falls on populated areas.

For meteorologist Anne-Sophie Chassaneau, from Cnes, it is positive that the expected window for the launch of Ariane 6 is very wide, with three hours available to find the ideal moment to start the flight: “This increases the possibility of launching even if the wind and lightning continue.”

video Ariane 6 on track for launch, well weather

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