Ariane 6 Rocket Launch Pushed Back to Late 2022

30th Jun 2021
Arianespace

The European Space Agency has reiterated the importance of the progress of its latest rocket model, stating that all parties are working hard for an Ariane 6 rocket launch to happen in 2022. ESA’s director general Josef Aschbacher reiterated his commitment to the project at the Paris Air Forum, describing Ariane 6 as their “most important launcher.” Aschbacher said that representatives from ESA, the French space agency, CNES, and Ariane Group, have put together a small taskforce to evaluate the project’s schedule. Their aim is to ensure that the project receives all the necessary resources to make an Ariane 6 launch in 2022 a reality.

ESA in Need of Replacement Rocket

The Ariane 6 model rocket is a heavy-lift craft designed to replace the Ariane 5 as the flagship rocket of the European Space Agency. Unlike many other commercial rocket designs, an Ariane 6 rocket will not comprise reusable components. However, supporters claim that there is still a possibility of lowering rocket launch costs, making it competitive with other leading rocket models like the Falcon 9 designed by SpaceX. Despite this, critics still argue that the design isn’t as sustainable as those of other leading firms.

Ariane 6 Rocket Launch Faces Delays

The Ariane 6 rocket has been in development since 2014. It had an initial launch projection for 2020, but last year officials conceded that they were moving the Ariane 6 launch window between April and June 2022. Reasons cited for the delay include technical challenges and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Aschbacher’s most recent comments now suggest that a summer 2022 launch has been abandoned, creating yet another delay. While the Ariane 6 rocket launch has no shortage of supporters in and out of ESA, further delays may continue to bring the project’s sustainability into question.

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