Watch the spectacular first hot firing of Ariane 6’s main engine and travel forward in time to the final seconds to lift-off in 2020.

The Vulcain 2.1, developed by ArianeGroup and now at the DLR German Aerospace Center test facility in Lampoldshausen, Germany, is settling in for the first of three test campaigns this year.

It boasts a stronger, simpler nozzle, a 3D-printed gas generator, and a new oxygen heater that pressurises the oxygen tank – features that have lowered the cost of the engine and simplified manufacturing.

Test results will help engineers to decide whether adjustments are needed to optimise the functional, thermal, and mechanical behaviour before the start of combined tests.

Successful first test of the Ariane 6 Vulcain 2.1 engine