Ariane 6 first launch will take place on 9 July

The long-awaited launch of Europe’s new Ariane 6 rocket will take place on 9 July. It still has a number of technical problems, but ESA expects to resolve them during pre-launch preparations.  Everyone is relying on the fact that the new carrier will be able to solve the crisis that has arisen in the space industry of the Old World.

The head of the ESA talks about plans for Ariane 6. Source: phys

Launch date of Ariane 6

On June 5, during the ILA Berlin air show, the leadership of the European Space Agency finally announced the exact date of the first launch of the Ariane 6 rocket. It was reported a month ago that it would be launched sometime in the first half of July. And now it has become known that this will happen on the 9th.

According to the statements of officials, the launch campaign has reached the finish line, and it is necessary to complete a few more last steps. The main one should be the “wet” dress rehearsal, which is still scheduled for June 18. At least, so far the ESA has not updated this previously announced date.

It is reported that the first launch of Ariane 6 will be a demonstration. The rocket should launch only 8 cubesats and five payloads into orbit, which will remain attached to its upper stage. In addition, two capsules developed by ArianeGroup and The Exploration Company will go into space on it.

Solving problems with carriers

However, the main reason why everyone waits so much for the Ariane 6 launch is that it should prove to the whole world that Europe has its own modern rocket capable of launching spacecraft into orbit. After all, it has already been awaited, and the start of operation is delayed and delayed.

For the last couple of years, ESA has been living in a ‘launch crisis’. In the past, it relied heavily on Russian rockets and therefore was not in a hurry to upgrade its own.  However, after the large-scale invasion of Ukraine, the services of the aggressor country had to be abandoned.

So now rockets to launch European satellites have to be found all over the world, and this is the situation that Ariane 6 has to solve. If, of course, its technical condition allows it to do so. As early as last month, it was recognised that the carrier had problems in this area, but they were expected to be resolved before launch.

If it is successful, ESA will begin the transition to serial launches. It is expected that eventually the number of Ariane 6 launches will be brought to 10.  For comparison, SpaceX has 14 launches of its Falcon 9 rocket in May 2024 alone.

According to