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The inaugural launch of Europe’s Ariane 6 rocket, delayed nearly four years, initially went smoothly with a successful stage separation and ignition of the Vinci upper stage engine. However, an anomaly with the Auxiliary Propulsion Unit (APU) prevented the upper stage from raising its altitude and performing a deorbit burn. This failure marred the mission, as the rocket was supposed to fall back to Earth and land in the Pacific Ocean to avoid cluttering Earth’s orbit.

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