Europe’s heavy-lift Ariane 6 rocket debut slips to late 2021; Covid-19 is not the only reason

by Peter B. de Selding

PARIS — The inaugural flight of Europe’s new Ariane 6 heavy-lift rocket, which already had moved from mid- to late-2020 and then to early 2021, has now slipped to late 2021, European government and industry officials said.

Officials said it is too soon to determine when in 2021 the first flight will occur. Prelaunch testing of a rocket mockup, scheduled to last as long as six months, is unlikely to start before early 2021. Assuming it concludes without a problem, the first launch campaign could begin. It will take another couple . . .

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