The new European launcher, Ariane 6, is scheduled to take off for the first time on 9 July 2024. It is intended to ensure Europe’s independent access to space, just as efficiently as its predecessor, Ariane 5, except at a lower cost and with greater flexibility for the next decade and beyond. The launch window is from 15:00-19:00 local time at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana (19:00–23:00 BST, 9 July 20:00–10 July 00:00 CEST). Ariane 6 is Europe’s newest heavy-lift rocket, designed to provide great power and flexibility at a lower cost than its predecessors. The launcher’s configuration – with an upgraded main stage, a choice of either two or four powerful boosters, and a new restartable upper stage – will provide Europe with greater efficiency and possibility as it can launch multiple missions into different orbits on a single flight, while its upper stage will deorbit itself at the end of mission.

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