New rockets set to launch in 2024
December 19, 2023 - Several new European and American rockets will make their maiden flights in 2024 while the aerospace industry faces a shortage of launch vehicles.
The European Space Agency’s Ariane 6 rocket, which carries Europe’s hopes for space autonomy from the United States and Russia, is set to make its inaugural voyage between June 15 and July 31 after four years of delays.
With 28 launches planned even before its first flight, the rocket, available in two versions, Ariane 62 and Ariane 64, will carry payloads to both geostationary orbits and low Earth orbits.
“It is a real industrial challenge to go from building two to nine launchers per year,” said Ariane Group’s executive president, Martin Sion.
United Launch Alliance (ULA) has developed the Vulcan Centaur rocket to replace its Atlas V and Delta IV launch vehicles.
Around 90 per cent of the main components and systems derive their design heritage from Atlas and Delta.
“This new rocket enables us to launch the entire market segment for all sizes of satellites from large government and commercial satellites to small satellites,” said Tory Bruno, President and CEO of ULA.
SpaceX will continue to test its Starship mega-rocket in 2024, while Blue Origin will debut its New Glenn launcher.
New Glenn is also an essential element of the lunar landing system ordered by NASA for the Artemis 5 lunar mission.