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‘It’s a historic day …’: Europe celebrates successful Ariane 6 launch after four-year delay

Europe's latest rocket, Ariane 6It successfully completed its maiden flight on Tuesday, delivering satellites into orbit and restoring the continent's autonomous access to space. The launch took place at 4 p.m. local time (1900 GMT) from Europe's space centre in Kourou, French Guiana, after a brief delay due to a minor problem discovered earlier in the day.
The successful launch was celebrated by European space officials, who were eager to move on from recent setbacks, including a four-year delay in the development of the Ariane 6. European Space Agency chief Josef Aschbacher said “This is a historic day for Europe”, while Philippe Baptiste, the head of France's CNES space agency, said “Europe is back.”
Despite a slight deviation from its planned trajectory at the end of the flight, the rocket successfully placed the microsatellite into orbit, marking a significant achievement for the European space program.

Ariane 6 RocketSelected by ESA in 2014, it is capable of placing satellites into geostationary orbit 36,000 kilometres above Earth, as well as deploying satellite constellations at lower altitudes. The inaugural flight carried a payload of university microsatellites, various experiments and two atmospheric re-entry capsules.
Mission success was not guaranteed, as about half of the first launches of new rockets have historically ended in failure. However, Ariane 6 performed well, and its first commercial flight is expected before the end of the year.
The launch of Ariane 6 comes at a time when competition in the space industry has increased, with companies like SpaceX launching rockets on a regular basis.
Europe has recently found itself without an independent means of launching satellites due to the grounding of Russia's Soyuz rocket and the failure of the Vega-C Light launcher. The successful launch of Ariane 6 is an important step for Europe's space program, and ESA plans to increase the number of flights in the coming years to meet the growing demand for satellite launches.



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