SC-X01 capsule on Ariane 6


ArianeGroup’s SC-X01 atmospheric re-entry demonstrator will be embarked on the maiden flight FM1 of ARIANE 6 (currently scheduled for mid-2024 [1]).


The purpose of the SC-X01 capsule is to prepare a commercial service called “SpaceCase”, which will enable customers to test and validate technologies such as materials, equipment and sensors in space environment and during atmospheric re-entry, at lower cost.

For the FM1 flight, the payloads, notably the SpaceCase capsule, will be installed on the “Ballast” structure developed and manufactured by ArianeGroup.


The “Ballast” structure which will hold the SC-X01 capsule on top of ARIANE 6 launcher

The mechanical properties of the “Ballast” have been chosen to be representative of the flight conditions of ambitious missions such as the Galileo satellites.

The SpaceCase project aims to propose a flexible and affordable in-flight test platform, as a reentry capsule, that shall allow leading experiments and technology validation of space components developed by Space stakeholders during a flight.

A considerable panel of environmental solicitations can be proposed, as this SpaceCase capsule would be able to be integrated in heavy launchers as well as on sounding rockets, depending on the customer’s experiment required environment and associated data needed to be recovered.


CAD model of SC-X01 (credit ArianeGroup)




[1] Ariane 6 joint update report, 26 April 2024



J. Bertrand, M. Régnier, G. Pinaud, P. Tran

2nd International Conference on Flight Vehicles, Aerothermodynamics and Re-entry Missions & Engineering (FAR) – 19 – 23 June 2022. Heilbronn, Germany


[3] The SCX-01 atmospheric re-entry demonstrator and thermostructural ablative TPS flight experiment

G. Pinaud, J. Bertrand, T. Pichon, S. Pams, G. Foulon

HiSST: 3rd International Conference on High-Speed Vehicle Science Technology
14 -19 April 2024, Busan, Korea