Ariane (rocket family)
France first proposed the Ariane project and it was officially agreed upon at the end of 1973 after delicate discussions between France, Germany and the UK. The project was Western Europe's second attempt to develop its own launcher following the unsuccessful Europa project. The Ariane project was code-named L3S (the French abbreviation for third-generation substitution launcher). The European Space Agency (ESA) charged the EADS subsidiary EADS Astrium to the development of all Ariane launchers and of the testing facilities, while Arianespace, a 32.5% CNES commercial subsidiary created in 1980, handles production, operations and marketing.
The several versions of the launcher include:
- Ariane 1, operational 1979-1986, with 9 successes out of 11 launches
- Ariane 2, operational 1986-1989, with 5 successes out of 6 launches
- Ariane 3, operational 1984-1989, with 10 successes out of 11 launches
- Ariane 4, operational 1990-2003, with 113 successes out of 116 launches
- Ariane 5, operational 1996–present, with 70 successes out of 74 launches (by July 2014)
- Ariane 6, currently in development, due for launch in 2021-2022.
Ariane 1 was a three-stage launcher, derived from missile technology. Arianes 2 through 4 are enhancements of the basic vehicle. The major differences are improved versions of the engines, allowing stretched first- and third-stage tanks and greater payloads. The largest versions can launch two satellites, mounted in the SPELDA (Structure Porteuse Externe pour Lancements Doubles Ariane) adapter.
Such later versions are often seen with strap-on boosters. These layouts are designated by suffixes after the generation number. First is the total number of boosters, then letters designating liquid- or solid-fueled stages. For example, an Ariane 42P is an Ariane 4 with two solid-fuel boosters. An Ariane 44LP has two solid, two liquid boosters, and a 44L has four liquid-fuel boosters.
Ariane 5 is a nearly complete redesign. The two storable lower stages are replaced with a single, cryogenic core stage. This simplifies the stack, along with the use of a single core engine (Vulcain). Because the core cannot lift its own weight, two solid-fuel boosters are strapped to the sides. The boosters can be recovered for examination but are not reused. The upper stage is storable and restartable, powered by a single Aestus engine.
On 4 May 2007, an Ariane 5-ECA rocket set a new commercial payload record, lifting two satellites with a combined mass of 9.4 tonnes.
As of January 2006[update], 169 Ariane flights have boosted 290 satellites, successfully placing 271 of them on orbit (223 main passengers and 48 auxiliary passengers) for a total mass of 575,000 kg successfully delivered on orbit. Attesting to the ubiquity of Ariane launch vehicles, France's Cerise satellite, which was orbited by an Ariane in 1995, struck a discarded Ariane rocket stage in 1996. The incident marked the first verified case of a collision with a piece of catalogued space debris.
Arianespace has 24 shareholders from 10 European countries, including:
Total of 99.99% due to round-off
|CEO & Chairman||Stéphane Israël|
|Senior Vice-President, Programs||Louis Laurent|
|Senior Vice-President, Sales & Customers||Jacques Breton|
|Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer||Thomas Hundt|
|Vice President, Corporate Communication||Isabelle Veillon|
|Location of Office||Head of Branch|
|French Guiana||Patrick Loire|
As of 1 July 2006[update], Arianespace employed 271 personnel at its French HQ, at its launch complex at the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana and at offices in Washington, D.C., Singapore and Tokyo.
Ariane's Cup is a sailing competition organized on behalf of the Industrials participating in the Ariane programme.
Flyable models of the Ariane 4 and 5 are available as kits from Noris Raketen in Germany. In 1987 Lambert Shelter built a 5.40 metre long flyable model of the Ariane, now displayed at the Hermann Oberth Space Travel Museum in Feucht. A 4.5 m, 85 kg flyable model of the Ariane 4, built by the Advanced Rocketry Group Of Switzerland (ARGOS), was launched in 2002 in Amarillo, Texas and successfully again on 19 September 2004 at 12:15 local time in the Val de Ruz in the Canton of Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
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- "Management team". Arianespace. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- European Space Agency
- Noris Raketen web site — flyable models
- Downloadable paper models of various ESA spacecraft (Ariane at the bottom)
- Ariane's Cup web site