Preparations for the new Ariane 6 launch vehicle proceed smoothly, in anticipation of its maiden voyage in 2022.
A key milestone has been recently reached for the Ariane 6 rocket, in efforts being led by ArianeGroup on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA). The early combined test campaign conducted on the rocket’s fairing is the first major operational qualification of the launch system parts and launch base infrastructure, bringing the Ariane 6 a step closer to the launch pad.
Video: Starry night at the Ariane 6 launch base © ESA-CNES-Arianespace 2021
ID Quantique is proud to be working with ArianeGroup to develop some of the Ariane 6’s dedicated ground testing equipment. On the launch pad for space-bound rockets, all systems must be unquestionably reliable, while operating at peak performance, and so IDQ’s instrumentation – including an array of high-efficiency and ultrafast ID281 superconducting single photon detectors – was selected for an integrity and performance monitoring capability of the rocket’s fibre-optic based opto-pyrotechnic control and command system.
The Ariane 6’s maiden flight is set to be in French Guiana in 2022—following the footsteps of the first Ariane rocket launch in 1979—as the latest in the ESA’s Ariane series of launch vehicles. Stay with us, as we follow the progress of the Ariane 6 in the months leading up to its launch into space.