Europe ‘back in space’ despite Ariane 6 debut glitch | World News | Space

PARIS, – Space bosses hailed Europe’s return to space after the Ariane 6 rocket successfully carried out a series of trials in a debut flight on Tuesday, but the mission ended with the launcher coasting in orbit without releasing its final batch of payloads.

Watched by a Rafale fighter jet, Europe’s newest uncrewed rocket blasted off from French Guiana around 4 p.m. local time , restoring the continent’s independent access to space after delays, political setbacks and debates over funding.

Although not a commercial mission, the flight deployed three sets of micro-satellites for research purposes, prompting European space officials to declare the maiden trip a success.

“Europe is back in space,” Philippe Baptiste, head of France’s CNES space agency, said via video link to the Paris headquarters of the European Space Agency , where employees and politicians cheered the lift-off.

In a keenly awaited milestone, the Vinci engine powering the rocket’s upper stage was restarted in space for the first time. It is designed to restart repeatedly, allowing operator Arianespace to place payloads into several different orbits.

However, a third firing had to be abandoned after a smaller power unit shut itself down for unspecified reasons, meaning the final batch of payloads…

Source www.hindustantimes.com

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