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  ESA - JAXA - China - International
  Europe's next-generation Ariane 6 launch vehicle

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Author Topic:   Europe's next-generation Ariane 6 launch vehicle
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
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
Member

Posts: 4046
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
Member

Posts: 355
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.

All times are CT (US)

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