RPT - ESA Hopes First Flight Of Ariane 6 Launch Vehicle To Happen In 2022 After Technical Delays

RPT - ESA Hopes First Flight of Ariane 6 Launch Vehicle to Happen in 2022 After Technical Delays

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 03rd February, 2021) The European Space Agency (ESA) hopes that the first flight of the Ariane 6 carrier rocket will take place in 2022 after it was delayed due to technical difficulties, outgoing ESA Director General Jan Woerner told Sputnik in an interview.

In December, the CEO of the Arianespace company, which is responsible for the development of Ariane 6, said that its launch had been postponed from 2020 to 2022 over the coronavirus pandemic.

"Unfortunately, we have to see that maiden flight of Ariane 6 has been very much delayed.

We planned to have it last year, industry gave a clear commitment that the launch would take place in 2020. Now, due to COVID crisis, we had some delays, but this was not what brought us to 2022. There are also some technical difficulties on the ground and also for the launcher itself. So therefore, yes, I believe that still the date 2022 is a valid one," Woerner said.

Ariane 6 is aimed at replacing the Ariane 5, a heavy-lift space launch vehicle, used to deliver payloads to Orbit. Europe's new carrier rocket will be used for commercial purposes as well.