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  Europe's next-generation Ariane 6 launch vehicle

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Author Topic:   Europe's next-generation Ariane 6 launch vehicle
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 39731
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-11-2013 07:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
European Space Agency release
The baseline configuration of Ariane 6 selected by consensus on the basis of decisions taken by ESA's Ministerial Council of November 2012

In November 2012, European Ministers responsible for space, meeting in Naples, Italy, approved the start of preparatory activities for Europe's next-generation Ariane 6 launch vehicle.

The objective of Ariane 6 is to maintain guaranteed autonomous access to space for Europe, while minimising exploitation costs and suppressing any support to exploitation.

The performance requested for the new launch vehicle was 3–6.5 tonnes in equivalent geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), to cover both governmental and commercial needs. The general configuration retained was 'PPH' – indicating the sequence of stages using solid propulsion, solid propulsion and cryogenic propulsion.

Ministers also requested that the new launch vehicle exploits maximum commonalities with the cryogenic reignitable upper stage of Ariane 5 ME.

Process

Seven months after ESA's Ministerial Council decision, the project team of ESA, supported by CNES, has endorsed the final concept proposed by industry for the vehicle that will become Europe's workhorse for reaching space in the 2020s and beyond.

This concept was selected after six months of trade-off studies done by a 'plateau projet' integrating industrial teams (Astrium, Avio, Herakles and the participation of Safran, MT Aerospace and others) working under ESA contract, consistent with Ministerial decisions mentioned above.

The choice of configuration was made by consensus and based on the following main criteria: exploitation costs, time to market and development costs.

Ariane 6 will benefit from the advances by European industry in solid and cryogenic propulsion, structures, systems, avionics, ground segment and operations through the Ariane and Vega programmes.

Baseline configuration selected

The selected 'Multi P linear' concept is based on a lower 'composite' of four motors, each loaded with around 135 tonnes of solid propellant, providing also synergies with the Vega evolution perspectives. An "in-line" arrangement of three will serve as the first stage, while the fourth will be mounted above as the second stage.

The third stage will be an adapted version of the Ariane 5 ME upper stage, equipped with the Vinci engine and specific propellant tanks.

The 5.4 m-diameter payload fairing will be able to accommodate the same volume of satellites as Ariane 5.

Steps to October 2013

The next step will be for ESA to consult with industry to gather competing ideas on key work packages of the new launch system. Industry will have maximum flexibility for meeting the requirements.

Consolidation of the current Phase A will take place at the Preliminary Requirements Review (PRR) in October 2013.

Decisions taken by the ESA Council at Ministerial level in November 2012 are being implemented strictly and timely.

cspg
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Posts: 5926
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 07-11-2013 09:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So they've dropped cryogenic propulsion altogether for the first and second stages. Solid fuel is more economical? ATK must be pleased to hear that. Is this also an indication that Europe doesn't want/need a heavy lift? And that version of Ariane cannot be labeled as "green".

SkyMan1958
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Posts: 763
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 07-11-2013 10:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
And that version of Ariane cannot be labeled as "green".
My thoughts exactly.

SkyMan1958
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Posts: 763
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 06-23-2017 10:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's a BBC article on the development of the Ariane 6 rocket. Theoretically the first flight will be in 2020.
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.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 39731
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-01-2017 10:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
European Space Agency (ESA) video release
At Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana, Ariane 6 is now a reality with the launch zone taking shape.

Indeed there is no time to lose for the future European launcher since its first launch is planned for July 2020. But the independent access to space for Europe is at stake along with its leading role on the launcher market.

This video shows the status of Ariane 6 launch zone in Kourou with latest drone images and an interview with Daniel Neuenschwander, ESA's Director of Space Transportation.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 39731
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-24-2018 03:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ariane Group release
Successful first test for the Ariane 6 Vulcain engine

The Vulcain 2.1 engine, developed by ArianeGroup to power the main stage of the Ariane 6 launcher, for which the maiden flight is scheduled for 2020, has just been successfully tested by the DLR (German Aerospace Center) on the P5 test facility at its site in Lampoldshausen, Germany on behalf of ArianeGroup.

This is a version of the Ariane 5 Vulcain 2 engine especially adapted for the Ariane 6 main stage, to simplify production and to lower costs. To reach these objectives the engine integrates technologies such as a gas generator built using 3D printing, a simplified divergent nozzle, and an oxygen heater for tank pressurization. These adaptations contribute to achieving the cost targets set for the Ariane 6 launcher, while retaining the efficiency and reliability demonstrated on Ariane 5.

The tests carried out at Lampoldshausen will allow the new engine to be tested throughout its flight envelope (thrust, mixing ratio, propellant supply conditions).

In parallel, the Ariane 6 upper stage Vinci engine qualification program is continuing on schedule, with more than 130 test firings performed on the two test beds in France and Germany (the P4.1 at the DLR's Lampoldshausen site and the PF52 at the ArianeGroup test site in Vernon, France), including several demonstrations of the multiple ignition capability required by Ariane customers for their missions on Ariane 6.

Design authority and industrial lead contractor for the development and operation of the Ariane 6 launcher on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA), ArianeGroup coordinates an industrial network of more than 600 companies in 13 European countries, including more than 350 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 39731
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-16-2018 12:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
European Space Agency release
Hot firing proves solid rocket motor for Ariane 6 and Vega-C

Today's hot firing of the P120C solid-propellant motor at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana proves its flight-worthiness for use on Vega-C next year and on Ariane 6 from 2020.

This marks an important milestone in the development schedule of Europe’s new-generation launchers, designed to boost our autonomy in the space arena, and maintain Europe’s global competitiveness.

The test lasted 135 seconds simulating the complete burn time from liftoff and through the first phase of flight.

No anomalies were seen and the performance met expectations, though full analysis will take several months.

The P120C is 13.5 m long and 3.4 m in diameter and is made using a carbon composite material and built in one segment. It will replace the current P80 as the first stage motor of Vega-C. Two or four P120Cs will be strapped onto Ariane 6 as boosters for liftoff.

This test was a collaboration between ESA, France’s CNES space agency, and Europropulsion under contract to Avio and ArianeGroup.

The next static firing will occur at the end of this year with the P120C qualification motor.

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