Paris [France], July 10: The Ariane 6 rocket was launched from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, at 4 p.m. on July 9 (7 p.m. July 9, Vietnam time), according to AFP. According to the European Space Agency (ESA), the takeoff time was delayed by an hour after a minor data problem was detected, but everything has been resolved.
The launch deployed three sets of microsatellites for research purposes. European space officials declared the maiden voyage a success.
"This is a very important moment for Europe. We are re-establishing independent access to space for Europe," said ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher.
Sharing the same view, Toni Tolker-Nielsen, ESA's Director of Space Transport, said: "Ariane 6 plays a key role in Europe's space ambitions. The issue of sovereign access to space for institutional and government missions - this need is even more emphasized when considering the current geopolitical situation."
The Ariane 6 was developed at an estimated cost of 4 billion euros ($4.33 billion) to keep up with growing competition in the rocket market, including billionaire Elon Musk 's SpaceX Falcon 9. The rocket used to put the satellite into orbit was originally scheduled to launch in 2020, but it has been delayed several times.
The previous Ariane 5 version was last launched in July 2023, 27 years after its first launch.
Europe is expected to launch Ariane 6 once more later this year, six times in 2025 and eight times in 2026. In the future, ESA also plans to launch several Amazon internet satellites, according to Reuters.
Source: Thanh Nien Newspaper