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Thread: Europe's Ariane 6

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    Europe's Ariane 6

    In a few days we might see Europe give the go ahead to develop their new rocket Ariane 6

    http://spacenews.com/article/launch-...ext-generation

    The German government has agreed to drop its demand that Europe develop a long-planned upgrade of today’s Ariane 5 rocket and instead proceed with a new-generation Ariane 6 that borrows heavily on Ariane 5 technology, Germany’s space minister said.
    Last edited by PetersCreek; 2014-Nov-22 at 01:24 AM. Reason: Sp.

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    A mod might want to fix the tiny title typo.

    It sounds reasonable to lean on 5ME and Vega technology and to force a more realistic approach to the economics of the launcher business.

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    In practice, what will be the difference between Ariane VI and Ariane V 2.0?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    In practice, what will be the difference between Ariane VI and Ariane V 2.0?
    I think the section on wiki about it's marketing position is pretty good.
    It seems like they are going for optimizing for a more common use.
    I would also assume that a non-cryogenic first stage gives them some efficiency too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    In practice, what will be the difference between Ariane VI and Ariane V 2.0?
    Ariane 5 ME is largely an Ariane 5 with a larger, more capable upper stage using the Vinci engine allowing it to deliver satellites to multiple orbits, insert directly into geosynchronous orbit, etc.
    Ariane 6 is a bit smaller and cheaper than Ariane 5, targeted at single satellite launches. The light version uses a Vinci upper stage and a Vulcain 2 lower stage (both LOX/LH2) and two solid boosters, the heavy version uses four solid boosters.

    The big difference is launch costs, Ariane 6 is about half the price per kg to orbit. I think this is largely streamlining of operations and simplification of the vehicle, as the basic technology is no different.


    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    I think the section on wiki about it's marketing position is pretty good.
    It seems like they are going for optimizing for a more common use.
    I would also assume that a non-cryogenic first stage gives them some efficiency too.
    The first stage is cryogenic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    The big difference is launch costs, Ariane 6 is about half the price per kg to orbit. I think this is largely streamlining of operations and simplification of the vehicle, as the basic technology is no different.
    Still more expensive than SpaceX, though, and it isn't planned to start flying until 2021, when I expect they'll be competing with even lower launch costs. Sounds like it is too little, too late. They're probably hoping for something to happen to SpaceX and that everybody else goes back to business as usual.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Still more expensive than SpaceX, though, and it isn't planned to start flying until 2021, when I expect they'll be competing with even lower launch costs. Sounds like it is too little, too late. They're probably hoping for something to happen to SpaceX and that everybody else goes back to business as usual.
    And the ESA apparently can't fully explain how they achieve the savings, which doesn't give a huge amount of confidence in them:
    http://www.spacenews.com/article/lau...everyone-money

    That article mentions the sustainability of SpaceX's prices as an unknown. I hope they're not planning on those prices increasing greatly...SpaceX is making a full landing attempt on a barge next month. If it goes as well as it has been (and it seems to be going considerably faster than planned, considering that they're attempting a landing of an actual launcher stage before they've even finished the F9R-Dev2 test vehicle), they're very close to first stage reuse.

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    Quoting that article:

    The ESA document leaves several questions unanswered, perhaps inevitably given that it is projecting events over a 10-year period that depend in large measure on the global commercial satellite launch market. That market totals no more than 25 commercial launches per year, often less, and as such is susceptible to being destabilized if only a handful of launch decisions go one way rather than another.

    Among the big unknowns: the sustainability of the low commercial launch costs offered by Space Exploration Technology Corp. and that company’s launch rate; the ambitions of China and India in the commercial market, and Western governments’ willingness to allow these vehicles to launch Western commercial satellites; and whether Russia and Ukraine are viewed in 10 years as reliable sources of launch services.
    Wow, look at those assumptions. The market today may total 25 commercial launches per year, but I think demand will be increasing even if SpaceX isn't successful with their reusability work. If it is, I think there's going to be a market transformation and when that happens, they're all going to be working on low launch cost/reusable designs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    The first stage is cryogenic.
    From the picture in Wiki, it looks like solids.
    I looked for more information, and there were several references to 3 solids.
    The latest I could find from a month ago was mention of 3 variants with 2 having solid cores and the decision not being made until next month.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    From the picture in Wiki, it looks like solids.
    I looked for more information, and there were several references to 3 solids.
    The latest I could find from a month ago was mention of 3 variants with 2 having solid cores and the decision not being made until next month.
    Yes, a solid version was proposed. It was disliked by pretty much everyone and Airbus-Safran made a counterproposal in June for a launcher using a LOX/LH2 core stage that was much better received. That Space Launch Report article even ends with a "Revised 2014 Concepts" section that covers the version now described on the ESA's web site, which mentions all-solid designs in passing and then describes a version using LOX/LH2 core and upper stages, dropping the hypergolic upper stage of the June proposal. I don't see any sign that the all-solid proposal is still being seriously considered.

    http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/La...icles/Ariane_6
    http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Ima..._configuration

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    Europe has given the go ahead to build the new-generation Ariane 6 rocket

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Eu...ocket_999.html

    Under a compromise, the Ariane 6 will incorporate existing designs from the Ariane 5, ME and other projects.

    It will culminate in two versions -- a two-booster or four-booster design -- able to take between five and 10 tonnes into orbit.

    It will include a solid rocket motor, the P120C, being designed as an upgrade for ESA's Vega launcher that should be operational from 2018, as well as a strap-on booster.

    But much of the rest will come from the Ariane 5, thus saving development costs and time, according to engineers.

    According to Stephan Israel, head of Arianespace, which markets ESA's services, the current market price for a single launch of two satellites "is around $120 million."

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    Still depending on dual-manifesting, which is the root of their recent scheduling difficulties. And the late completion date means they're shooting at the moving target that is SpaceX, and Blue Origin may well be flying methalox launchers by then as well.

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    The esa.int page I linked has been updated, and has a rather clearer description:

    • A main stage containing liquid oxygen and hydrogen based on the Vulcain engine of Ariane 5 ECA and ME;
    • Two or four P120 solid rocket boosters, which will be common with Vega-C (an evolution of the current Vega launcher);
    • A cryogenic upper stage (LOX/LH2) propelled by a Vinci engine, based on the A5ME upper stage, with limited adaptations.

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    We are looking at 2020 for the maiden fight of Ariane 6.

    http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/08/13...maiden-flight/

    Europe’s top rocket contractor is pressing ahead with development of the Ariane 6 rocket, a versatile launcher with half the cost of Europe’s current Ariane 5 booster, keeping the new vehicle on track for its 2020 debut.

    The rocket cleared a major design review in June, and there are no signs of slowdowns in a multibillion-dollar program that is as much of an exercise in cost-cutting as technical development.

    At the same time, engineers are evaluating what it might take to convert the Ariane 6 into a partially reusable rocket, including a new methane-fueled engine that could be plugged into the Ariane 6’s first stage and a booster recovery system to return the engine to the ground for another mission.

    But Europe’s biggest rocket developer, Airbus Safran Launchers, is sure the Ariane 6 will answer the near-term needs of European governments and commercial satellite operators, who seek lower prices and multiple reliable launch options.

    Alain Charmeau, chief executive of Airbus Safran launchers, told Spaceflight Now he is “extremely confident” the Ariane 6 will be ready for a maiden test flight by the end of 2020, and will fully replace the Ariane 5 in 2023.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Still more expensive than SpaceX, though, and it isn't planned to start flying until 2021, when I expect they'll be competing with even lower launch costs. Sounds like it is too little, too late. They're probably hoping for something to happen to SpaceX and that everybody else goes back to business as usual.
    That and the Ariane 5 was only just able to deal with heavyweight payloads of late. I thought A-6 was smaller

    But the spaceflight now story has this:

    "The Ariane 6’s four-booster configuration, called the Ariane 64, will be the Ariane 6 version that likely flies most often. It can loft up to 10.5 metric tons — more than 23,000 pounds — into geostationary transfer orbit, the destination favored by most commercial communications satellites."
    Last edited by publiusr; 2016-Aug-20 at 05:21 PM.

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    Good news for Ariane 6.

    http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/11/...ane-6-program/

    The European Space Agency and Airbus Safran Launchers, industrial prime contractor of the Ariane 6 launcher, have today signed the amendment to the agreement of 12 August 2015 committing the entire €2.4 billion planned for the development, production and operation of the two versions of the Ariane 6 launcher, Ariane 62 and 64.

    The agreement of 12 August 2015 included a firm commitment of approximately €680 million to carry out the initial development (phases A and B) through to the preliminary design review (PDR) in mid-2016. The amendment signed today allows ESA to notify Airbus Safran Launchers of the commitment of the €1.7 billion required to continue development, and then production and operation.

    The amendment to the agreement signed today follows the success of the in-depth review carried out in June, first by the industry (Maturity Gate 5) and then by the ESA Member States, which carefully examined the work done by Airbus Safran Launchers and its partners. This review confirmed the maturity of the launcher’s development in relation to the goals set at the ESA Ministerial Conference in December 2014 in terms of costs, lead-times and technical performances.

    Following this review, the representatives of the ESA Member States unanimously voted in favour of continuing the Ariane 6 program.

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    An update on the future of Euro-space:
    http://www.futura-sciences.com/scien...riane-6-66350/

    There is a photo on an interesting fly-back booster concept with four turbo-jets in the nose

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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    An update on the future of Euro-space:
    http://www.futura-sciences.com/scien...riane-6-66350/

    There is a photo on an interesting fly-back booster concept with four turbo-jets in the nose
    Article is in French.
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    I used google translate--it pops up by itself here at the library.

    Google translate is a bit wonky--it used the term "floor" instead of "stage"

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    Only 23 more Arianen 5's and then it is only Ariane 6.

    http://spacenews.com/ariane-5-down-t...-6-takes-over/

    European launch provider Arianespace expects to conduct just 23 more Ariane 5 launches before the next-generation Ariane 6 becomes its primary rocket.

    The final Ariane 5s will launch between 2020 and 2022, overlapping with the first three years of Ariane 6 missions. Arianespace ordered the final 10 Ariane 5 boosters Jan. 9, placing a billion-plus euro contract with ArianeGroup to build the rockets while spinning up the first Ariane 6 rockets.

    Currently a mainstay of the space launch sector, the Ariane 5 has launched 96 times since debuting in 1996, overcoming a rash of failures in its early days to perform 82 consecutive successes. A continued streak would see the venerable rocket retiring four years from now with just four failures (the last in 2002) and 119 successes, including next year’s launch of the $9 billion James Webb Space Telescope.

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    Ariane 6's first test of its Vulcain engine was successful.

    https://www.ariane.group/en/news/successful-first-test/

    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.

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    Development of Ariane 6 is making progress

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/14...ane_6_999.html

    The re-ignitable Vinci, engine, which will power the upper stage of the Ariane 6 launcher, has now successfully completed its last two subsystems qualification campaigns (M6 and M7) with 140 engine tests conducted.

    The tests in campaigns M6 and M7, vital for qualification of the engine subsystems, were carried out on the PF52 bench at the ArianeGroup site in Vernon, France, and on the German Aerospace Center DLR's P4.1 bench in Lampoldshausen, Germany.

    A total of 25 tests (16 for M6 and 9 for M7) were carried out under nominal conditions, and include three major performance "firsts":

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    Now the order has been given the first 14 rockets.

    https://www.ariane.group/en/news/ari...-14-launchers/

    Following the initial institutional and commercial launch orders for Ariane 6 obtained by Arianespace since the autumn of 2017, and the resolution of the ESA Council on April 17, 2019, related to the rocket’s exploitation framework, ArianeGroup is starting to build the first series production batch of 14 Ariane 6 launchers.
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    That is a very slick website.

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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    That is a very slick website.
    Far too much so, for my taste. Lots of slick, not much information.
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    Might be my browser, but I didn't even find the information.

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    "Milestone for Europe's new launcher"

    https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/M...ncher_999.html

    Europe's new launcher, Ariane 6, is nearing completion. Like its predecessor, Ariane 5, the upper stage of the new European Space Agency (ESA) rocket is being built at ArianeGroup in Bremen. On the night of 28 to 29 January 2021, a fully functional, full-size test model, identical to the model that will be used for Ariane 6 launches, began a very special journey to southern Germany in a transport container that is 14 metres long, almost seven metres wide and six metres high.

    "With the departure of the first upper stage from the factory in Bremen, we have initiated the countdown to the first launch of Ariane 6. The upper stage is the heart of Ariane 6, and it is being both built and tested here in Germany. Independent access to space - which Ariane 6 will ensure after Ariane 5 is phased out - is not only geopolitically important, but also relevant for the future of Germany as a high-tech country," explains Walther Pelzer, Member of the DLR Executive Board and Director General of the German Space Agency within DLR, which manages the funding that Germany provides to ESA on behalf of the German government.
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    I'm happy they assure independent access to space and that they have a test article separate from the mission hardware. Ariane 6 just could have been more ambituous than what it is.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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    The Arianespace managers and bureaucrats didn't take reusability (SpaceX and Blue Origin) seriously, so now their next-gen vehicle becomes a stop-gap until their RLV can be delivered. Many in the global launch industry made the same mistake.

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    Too conventional?

    OTRAG was the ultimate in modularity. Wasn’t there a three core concept called “the bat” where the two side cores separated in a V shape with a Rogallo wing membrane?
    Last edited by publiusr; 2021-Feb-01 at 06:35 AM.

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