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Ariane 6 Launch Day Resource List

9 July 2024 is scheduled to go down in the history of spaceflight as the date of inaugural flight of Europe’s Ariane 6 launch vehicle.

As Europe eagerly counts down last hours ahead of the launch (live stream starting from 19.30 CEST at ESA Web TV) , we bring you ESPI insights, data and analysis on this major European milestone.

The article is regularly updated.

Ariane 6 and Europe’s complex decision making

In his latest Director’s Perspective, our Director H. Ludwig Moeller illustrates the complexities of decision making in European space programmes using the examples of Ariane 6 and EUMETSAT’s decision regarding the launch of MTG-S1. He makes the case that the use of space and access to space strategically need to be treated as one.

A critical milestone… but Europe also needs to look beyond the debut launch

Our Director reflected on the significance on Ariane 6 inaugural flight in a recent SpaceNews article. He argued that “Ariane 6 is essential and a prerequisite for the implementation of a broader European space policy and strategy” but also that “the focus on the launcher crisis has made it difficult to advance on other dossiers and in particular on the accelerated use of space”.

How did Ariane 6 come to be ?

Check out our 2016 study “The European Launchers Between Commerce and Geopolitics”, which looks at the origins of Europe’s decision to pursue the 6th generation of Ariane launch vehicles, starting with the 2014 ESA Ministerial Council resolution for new, competitive, and flexible European launch services.

How does Europe fare in the launch game ?

ESPI’s annual Yearbook provides various data and statistics on trends and evolution in the launch sector, including the place of Europe therein. Visit Chapter 4 of our recent ESPI Yearbook 2022 to learn more and stay tuned for soon-to-be-published Yearbook 2023.

ESPI expertise in global media reporting


For Europe it is mission critical to again have an autonomous access to space... By July 10, the focus in Europe needs to shift beyond launchers to the accelerated use of space, in all domains and to the benefit of the entire European economy, for the prosperity of its citizens, the competitiveness of its industries, as well as for the protection of global peace and inspiration of future generations

Hermann Ludwig Moeller Director of ESPI

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