Ariane 6 will be made up of three major structural and propellant-carrying components.The Lower Liquid Propulsion Module (LLPM), is Ariane 6's first stage and will burn liquid hydrogen (LH2) and liquid oxygen (LOX) propellant.Proposed launch prices of €85 million for Ariane 6.1 and €69 million for Ariane 6.2 were also deemed too high by the La Tribune in comparison to Space X This launcher would use a cryogenic main stage powered by the Vulcain 2 and upper stage powered by the Vinci, but vary the number of solid boosters.
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The Ariane 6 will be the first large rocket to utilise a laser ignition system which has been developed by Austrias Carinthian research center (CTR) and previously deployed in automotive and turbine engines.
A solid state laser offers an advantage over electrical ignition systems in that it is more flexible with regards to the location of the plasma within the combustion chamber, offers a much higher pulse power and can tolerate a wider range of fuel-air mixture ratios.
CEO Alain Charmeau revealed that Airbus Safran were now working along two main lines: first, continuing work (at the company's own expense) on the recoverable Adeline engine-and-avionics module; and second, beginning development of a next-generation engine to be called Prometheus.
This engine would have about the same thrust as the Vulcain 2 currently powering Ariane 5, but would burn methane instead of liquid hydrogen.
Reorganization of the industry behind a new launch vehicle, leading to a creation of Airbus Safran Launchers, also started a review by the French government, into tax matters, and the European Commission over a possible conflict of interest if Airbus Defence and Space, a satellite manufacturer were to purchase launches from ASL.
on an alternative, reusable first stage for Ariane 6, using a mix of liquid oxygen and liquid methane rather than hydrogen in the current Ariane 6 first-stage design.
The proposition also included simplification of the industrial and institutional organization along with a better and cheaper version of the Vulcain 2 engine for the main stage.
Although Ariane 6 was projected to have "lower estimated recurring production costs" it was projected to have "a higher overall development cost owing to the need for a new, Ariane 6-dedicated, launch pad." In November 2015 an updated design of Ariane 64 and 62 was presented, with new nose cones on the boosters, main stage diameter increased to 5.4 metres (18 ft) and the height decreased to 60 metres (200 ft).
Rather than developing a way to reuse an entire first stage (like Space X), Airbus proposed a system where only high-value parts would be safely returned using a winged module at the bottom of the rocket stack.
In August 2016 Airbus Safran Launchers gave some more details about future development plans building on the Ariane 6 design.
It would be capable of launching up to 6,500 kg (14,300 lb) to GTO, For lightweight all-electric satellites, Arianespace intended to use the restartable Vinci engine to deliver the satellites closer to their operational orbit than the Falcon 9, significantly reducing the time required (several months for an all-electric satellite from a standard GTO) to transfer to geostationary orbit.