Ariane 6 Rocket in News

The Ariane 6 is a launch vehicle under development by the European Space Agency (ESA), with a first test flight scheduled for 2020. If development is completed, it will become the newest member in the Ariane launch vehicle family.

Airbus Safran Launchers, jointly owned by Airbus and French engine maker Safran, had passed a review by the European Space Agency allowing it to go ahead with the first example of the new satellite launcher Ariane 6 rocket.

The new, cheaper rocket will replace the current Ariane 5 starting from its first launch, planned for 2020.

Ariane 6 is designed to be available in two versions, Ariane 62 and 64.

The test phase is part of a 2.4 billion-euro ($2.6 billion)programme to keep Europe in the increasingly competitive satellite launch business amid pressure from low-cost rivals such as U.S. company Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX).