Europe’s first Ariane 6 flight achieved most of its goals, but ended prematurely

Source: Ars Technica

“The first European Ariane 6 rocket fired off its launch pad at the edge of the Amazon rainforest and climbed into orbit Tuesday, an inaugural flight a decade in the making that restored Europe’s ability to put its own large satellites into space. The debut of the Ariane 6 rocket came almost exactly one year after Europe’s previous workhorse rocket, the Ariane 5, flew for the final time. Running four years late, the Ariane 6 is set to become Europe’s next flagship launcher. But delays in its development, combined with other factors, forced European governments to pay SpaceX to deliver several payloads to orbit. … the rocket deployed nine small CubeSats for US and European research institutions …. But a short time after Sion’s remarks, a malfunction on the upper stage prevented the Vinci engine from completing a third burn to steer back into Earth’s atmosphere for a targeted, destructive reentry.” (07/10/24)