The first flight of the European rocket “Ariane 6” is delayed until the year 2021. The engineers develop, however, already the successor, and the easier part is reusable and cheaper.
As the rocket manufacturer Space-X with its Falcon 9 for the first Time, astronauts to the ISS space station has been transported, was also thrilled by Stéphane Israël. “I dream of the day…Esa astronaut with the Ariane 6 to All can fly,” tweeted the chief of Arianespace, a week ago. The company markets the rockets Ariane and Vegawho builds the group’s parent company , the Ariane Group. Ambitions, to be able to self-astronauts into space transport, there is the case of Ariane and the space Agency, Esa is already for a long time. So far, German astronaut Alexander Gerst to fly with the Americans. Whether this change was ultimately a “political decision”, such as the Germany, says the chief of the Ariane Group, Pierre Godart,.
The rocket maker has, however, only once all other problems. At the end of the year, the new launcher should Ariane 6 for the first Time, stand out: With a satellite Internet constellation, Oneweb, built by Airbus. Oneweb, however, had to apply for creditor protection under Chapter 11, as it continues, is unclear. And the premiere flight will move according to Esa chief Jan Wörner at the beginning of 2021. “The appointment is necessary to define the Esa,” says Godart. Reason, any outstanding Tests are also available at the launch site in Kourou/French Guiana, the delay due to Corona. “Now the test slides to the rear, so that the first flight can only take place in 2021.”
While the manufacturer is still on the Premiere of the Ariane 6, which will be about 45 percent cheaper and more flexible than the previous model with 106 successful take-offs, develop the engineers of the successor model. It’s supposed to get back reusable items, lighter, more efficient and cheaper competition, it was competitive with the Falcon 9. It comes, however, at the earliest, 2030.
In the United States, a billionaire, decides, in Europe there are more than 20 Esa member countries
Anyone who visited the site of the Ariane Group in the South of Munich, the place where in addition to the production of engines is also a small exhibition: for example, Since the engines HM-7B, which already in 1979, a level of the Ariane 1 cheered has. More than 40 years later, the company has tested door at the service provider IABG just be the new Vulcain 2.1 engine, which will power the liquid oxygen and hydrogen, the main stage of the Ariane 6. The Vinci engine has been tested: It should, in the future, fueling the upper stage of the Ariane and – feature – multiple can kindle. The advantage of this is that the Ariane payloads may suspend without its own drive in different orbits.
Critics of the Ariane Group, which belongs to the same Share, Airbus and saffron, though, is that the Ariane 6 can’t fulfill what X is technically possible, and at Elon Musks rocket company Space-long Routine. Booster of the Falcon 9, which is also used for flights to the ISS, can be used, for example, on several occasions. The Ariane Group, refers to the Prometheus concept, to develop the engineers for five years. The Esa for this new engine, which also uses methane, has only granted on your Council of Ministers meeting in the previous December 82 million euros, may explain why the Europeans (again) are in arrears to the Americans: In the U.S., a billionaire decides on such a development, in Europe there are more than 20 Esa member countries.
Here, Prometheus has the stuff that Ariane can catch up with the Falcon 9: It could be used according to information provided by the developer at least five Times; the Ariane Group wants to lower your price for a jet engine with 3D printing compared to Vulcain to 90 percent by means of a higher quantity. “A Prometheus-engine would cost only a Million euros”, says Gerald Hagemann, Vice President of the Ariane Group. However, the utilization would have to agree. But what in ten years, then it is used, no one can predict. Therefore, Ariane wants to make sure that there is this Option at all. “The first Test will take place at the end of the year in Lampoldshausen,” says Hagemann. Currently it is planned the new engine in Ariane next use – in the thirty years.
To be able to Prometheus, re-use, there is the project of Themis. “We examine the long-term vertical Land,” says Hagemann. It works like this: The first stage is started with Prometheus and can then land vertically by rocket thrust. Like Space-X in front of the eight, to land the rocket stage on a platform in the sea. This would have been an advantage: “When you return to the launch site on the country, I would need more fuel, to the detriment of the payload,” he says. The first Test is scheduled for 2021.
In a much more concrete for the routine use of the so-called kick days, which the company developed just as. It should enhance the new Ariane 6. This is an Adapter with a propulsion module that allows payloads to lift up on its own in a different orbit, or to place constellations. The kick days might be zeroing in, for example, a lunar probe on a train in the direction of the moon. “The kick days opens up additional market potential for the Ariane 6,” says Hagemann.
The transport for each kilogram of the currency, with the provider of launchers to compete costs. This is due to the start-up costs. According to Space-X-information, a Falcon 9 currently costs $ 62 million. An Ariane 5 costs, according to the US-aviation authority FAA 178 million dollars, the Ariane 6 depending on the version with two or four boosters 90 to $ 120 million. Reportedly the Ariane Group is aiming in the long-term cost of 5000 dollars per kilogram. In the case of the Ariane 6, which should be 40 per cent cheaper than the predecessor, the calculated 11 000 dollars per kilogram. Provider of micro Double want to require launchers, but be more flexible. Space-X advertises in the rideshare area with a price of one Million dollars for 200 pounds. ds
With the Ariane next, the start-up costs should be halved in comparison to the Ariane 6, the Vision of the French space Agency, CNES, also because more space for the payload is available. This will be in addition to a new upper stage from a lighter Carbon fiber Material also, instead of now, different engine types, only the lower-cost Prometheus engine in various Bundles used to be. In addition, the components of the next Ariane will be reusable, 3D printing technologies can make the production cheaper. “The long-term objective, the use of Prometheus’s engines in a potentially reusable transport system, whereby the costs could again be significantly reduced,” says Hagemann.
And what relates to a capsule for astronauts, so this could be the topic of the next Esa Council of Ministers conference in 2022. “Europe has the skills, money, Know-how and the rocket,” says Godart. “We would have to adapt the Ariane 6 and an astronaut capsule to develop the industry in Europe is ready for it.” This has also signaled Esa-Chef Wörner already: After all, Airbus to build in Bremen, the service module for the Orion-Capsule of Nasa’s moon program Artemis. “If Europe is for the first time for astronauts to transport with responsibility.”