Ariane 6

Ariane 6 arrives at Europe’s Spaceport via Canopée

Credits: ESA - M. Pédoussaut

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In time for its summer launch this year, Ariane 6 has arrived at the port of Pariacabo in Kourou, French Guiana – home of Europe’s Spaceport – and is ready to be assembled. All the elements that make up the rocket are manufactured in mainland Europe and then transported by this novel ship, Canopée (canopy in French). It is the first custom-built transporter to use sails, reducing emissions and saving on fuel by up to 30%, and on this trip, it has travelled for 10 days covering over 7000 km. The hybrid-propulsion vessel is 121 m long and has 37 m tall sails. Canopée rotates continuously between stop-offs to load each Ariane 6 stage and other parts and ship them across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe’s spaceport. On this trip, Canopée brings the central core for Ariane 6’s first flight. Having collected the upper stage from Bremen, Germany, Canopée moved on to Le Havre, France, to load the main stage of Ariane 6. The next-generation cargo ship has been designed for ArianeGroup to meet the complex requirements of Ariane 6 transport – the stages and engines of Ariane 6 are high-tech equipment that require delicate care during transport. Canopée’s structure is tailored to carry large, fragile loads as well as navigate the shallow Kourou river to Pariacabo harbour. From here the various Ariane 6 components are offloaded and transported by road to the new Ariane 6 launch vehicle assembly building just a few kilometres away. Here, the launcher stages are unpacked and installed on the assembly line for integration, and finally, liftoff.

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Release Date
Europe's Spaceport