ArianeGroup inspires ‘space-struck’ kids (Part 1)


During an online class for children given by scientist and influencer AstroAthens on Dexter, Joost, an ArianeGroup engineer, answered all their out-of-this-world questions!


What is a rocket?

ArianeGroup replies: A rocket, like Ariane 5 or Ariane 6, is a vehicle that can travel beyond the Earth’s atmosphere and into outer space, using a rocket engine.


What’s the difference between a launcher, a rocket, and a spacecraft?

ArianeGroup replies: A launcher and a rocket are the same thing; they are both used to travel into space. To be more precise, a launcher (like Ariane 5 or Ariane 6) is made to launch something such as a satellite, a space probe, or a cargo vessel to take things to a space station like the ISS. A spacecraft is designed to travel into deep space.


What is ArianeGroup doing to send us back to the Moon?

ArianeGroup replies: We are working on the Orion spacecraft for NASA’s Artemis mission that will take the next astronauts back to the Moon. We are building engine parts for the spacecraft’s service module.

What’s the difference between a lunar lander and a space capsule like Orion?

ArianeGroup replies: A module like Orion can travel near to the Moon, into lunar orbit. A lander is another vehicle carried on board a spacecraft which lands on the Moon and can return into space after a mission.


What’s better, a mission to the Moon or a mission to Mars or Jupiter’s moons?

ArianeGroup replies: The Moon is ideal to practise living in space and on another planet, and it’s not too far away. It only takes three days to get there. So, if we have any problems, we can get back home fast. Once humans are comfortable with this kind of mission, we will be able to travel further afield.


When will we be able to travel to another galaxy or go on an intergalactic voyage?

It won’t be during our lifetimes, but there is still lots to explore in our own galaxy (which is really huge and has a lot of planets!).


See you soon for some more questions!