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Ariane 6 has lift off! Historic rocket launches Europe back into space


Finally, Europe has regained independent access to space.

The continent reestablished a sovereign launch capacity on Tuesday with the maiden flight of the Ariane 6 rocket.

Built to take satellites into orbit, Ariane 6 lifted off from the European Spaceport in French Guiana at 16:00 local time (21:00 CEST).

The rocket is now soaring into the cosmos with a payload of satellites and experiments. Once the cargo is dropped off, Ariane 6’s upper stage will burn up to reduce space trash.

The demonstration mission aims to prove the launcher’s capabilities. It alsos close a dismal chapter for the European Space Agency (ESA).

Since the retirement of Ariane 5 last July, Europe has relied on Elon Musk’s SpaceX to send satellites into orbit.

Thierry Breton, the EU’s commissioner for the internal market, described the problem as an “unprecedented crisis.” With the arrival of Ariane 6 ...


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