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Ensemble de Lancement Ariane 1 / Ensemble de Lancement Vega
Launch site Guiana Space Centre
Location 5°14′10″N 52°46′30″W / 5.236°N 52.775°W / 5.236; -52.775
Short name CECLES, ELA-1, ELV
Operator European Space Agency
Total launches 29
Launch pad(s) One
Launch history
Status Active
First launch 5 November 1971
Europa II / STV-4
Last launch 30 April 2014
Vega / KazEOSat-1
Associated rockets Europa II
Ariane 1
Ariane 2
Ariane 3
Vega (active)

ELA-1, short for Ensemble de Lancement Ariane 1 (French for Ariane Launch Area 1), also known as Ensemble de Lancement Vega, ELV, and CECLES, is a launch pad at the Centre Spatial Guyanais in French Guyana. It has been used to support launches of the Europa rocket, Ariane 1, 2 and 3, and is currently being rebuilt as a launch site for the future Vega programme.


Europa (CECLES)[edit]

ELA-1, at the time designated CECLES was constructed as an equatorial launch site for the Europa-II rocket which was being built as part of the ELDO programme. The first launch occurred on 5 November 1971. This was the only flight of the Europa-II, which ended in failure due to a guidance problem. The launch site was mothballed, and later demolished.

Ariane (ELA)[edit]

When the Ariane 1 programme was started, to replace the failed ELDO programme, a new launch site was built on the site of the former CECLES pad. This was designated Ensemble de Lancement Ariane, or ELA for short. The first Ariane 1 launch occurred on 24 December 1979. ELA was also used by Ariane 2 and 3 rockets, which first flew on 31 May 1986 and 4 August 1984 respectively. ELA was redesignated ELA-1 when the Ariane 4 entered service in 1988, as this launched from a separate launch pad, designated ELA-2. The Ariane 1 was retired on 22 February 1986, the Ariane 2 on 2 April 1989, and the Ariane 3 on 12 July 1989. ELA was subsequently demolished.

Vega (SLV)[edit]

A new launch pad built at ELA-1 and designated Site de Lancement Vega, or SLV, was constructed for the Vega rocket. Vega made its first launch from the complex on 13 February 2012.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]