The huge launch pad complex for Arianespace’s new workhorse, Ariane 6, is in the final months of construction ahead of the new rocket’s debut in 2021. ELA-4 includes a massive mobile gantry that will roll back off the pad ahead of launch. Arianespace is currently working on constructing 14 contracted Ariane 6s.
The Ariane 6 launch complex has been under construction since 2017 and – per the latest update this week – is expected to be completed before the end of 2019.
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Located between the areas used by the Ariane 5 and Vega rockets and the Soyuz launch complex, ELA-4 takes up the largest area of rocket real estate at the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
The launch complex covers 170 hectares, with buildings on 18 hectares. The site is located 17 km away from the town of Kourou and 4 km west from the Ariane 5 launch pad. With ample distance from the town of Kourou to allow for safe trajectories toward the East and North.
The complex involves three major construction elements, all of which will host Ariane 6 after its stages arrive at the spaceport ...