After four years of delays, Europe’s Ariane 6 rocket is poised for its first launch next week, aiming to restore the Continent’s independent access to space and counter the intense competition from Elon Musk’s SpaceX. The European Space Agency’s most powerful rocket is scheduled to blast off from its South American spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, at 2:00 p.m. EDT (18:00 UTC) July 9.

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