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Europe's powerful new Ariane 6 rocket lifts off in debut flight

·1 min

The European Space Agency’s member countries have launched the Ariane 6 rocket system in hopes of becoming more self-reliant in space access and challenging SpaceX’s dominance in launching satellites. Arianespace, the operator of Ariane 6, aims to capture more of the European market. Although setbacks have occurred, Ariane 6 has secured high-profile contracts, including plans to launch some of Amazon’s internet-beaming satellites. The cost per launch is not yet determined, but officials hope it will be well under $100 million. The inaugural test flight of Ariane 6 included small satellites, experiments, and technology demonstrations.