August 8, 2023

Ariane 6 development status check

The final stages of Ariane 6’s development are underway in French Guiana and Germany. Europe’s new heavy-lift launcher is now scheduled to make its maiden flight in 2024. Journalists are invited to an online press briefing on 4 September.

Next Ariane 6 Task Force report due 9 September

Tests are ongoing at our Guiana Space Centre and at German space agency DLR to qualify Europe’s new Ariane 6 launcher, whose first flight is now planned in 2024. Here are the latest key milestones reached this summer by ESA, ArianeGroup, Arianespace and CNES, and those still to come:

Key milestones leading up to maiden flight in 2024

  • 29 August 2023: short hot-fire test at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou
  • 1 September 2023: 2nd hot-fire test (HFT3) of upper stage at German space agency DLR’s Lampoldshausen facility
  • 26 September 2023: long-duration hot-fire test of the main stage at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou (with press in attendance)

Latest milestones completed

  • 18 July 2023: series of successful tests at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, including a full launch countdown of the core body up to ignition of the main stage’s Vulcain 2.1 engine

The long-duration hot-fire test on 26 September will be followed by a briefing session, where a more precise date for the maiden launch in 2024 will be announced.

The next update from the Ariane 6 Task Force is planned on 4 September. An online press briefing will be held the same day from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Registration is open as of today and up to Thursday 31 August (5 p.m.): see ESA website.

Stay tuned!

Ariane 6 test model currently at the Guiana Space Centre. Credits: CNES/ESA/Arianespace-ArianeGroup/CSG video and photo department/S Martin, 2023.