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Last week, Ariane 6’s central core – the main body of the rocket – was stood tall at the launch zone and connected to its two solid-fuel boosters. This exciting moment means only one thing: it’s the start of the first launch campaign.

The main stage and upper stage make up the core stage, and they were autonomously driven at 3 km/h from the rocket assembly building to the launch pad, 800 m away. Then lifted by a crane, the Ariane 6 core was stood upright on the launch table.

The two boosters were transported to the launch pad on a specially designed truck and then configured with the rocket body, now holding it upright.

Ariane 6 is due to launch in summer 2024. The heavy-lift rocket will inaugurate a new era of autonomous European space transportation, powering Europe into space to realise its ambitions on the world stage. It will lift off from a modern launch complex at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, carrying with it not just a variety of spacecraft, but also European goals for prosperity and autonomy.

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