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Ariane 44L
Ariane 44L -

Credit: Arianespace. 22,028 bytes. 291 x 482 pixels.

Launch Vehicle: Veronique. French Veronique sounding rocket was first launched from Columb Bechar, Algeria.

Launch Vehicle: Europa.

Europe's first space launcher. First stage British Blue Streak IRBM, second stage French, third stage German. All orbital launch attempts failed due to unreliability of third stage. Project cancelled after withdrawal of British support and replaced by Ariane.

Launch Vehicle: Diamant. First French indigenous satellite launch vehicle.

Launch Vehicle: Diamant B. Upgraded Diamant with liquid stage; antecedent of Ariane.

Launch Vehicle: Ariane 1. First successful European commercial launch vehicle, developed from L3S Europa launch vehicle replacement design. Development was authorised in July 1973, took eight years, and cost 2 billion 1986 Euros.

Launch Vehicle: Ariane 2/3.

As Ariane 1 but with increased thrust first and second stage engines, 25% stretched third stage, 4 sec specific impulse improvement in third stage, larger internal payload fairing volume, and introduction of Sylda payload carrier for dual payloads. Ariane 3 added two solid rocket motor strap-ons. Payload of basic Ariane 2 to geosynchronous transfer orbit was 2,175 kg. Development was authorised in July 1980 and had a total cost of 144 million 1986 Euros.

Launch Vehicle: Ariane 4.

As Ariane 2/3 with stretched first (61%) and third stages, strengthened structure, new propulsion bay layout, new avionics, Spelda dual-payload carrier. The basic 40 version uses no strap-on motors (see Ariane 42L, 44L, 42P, 44P, 44LP for figures on varous combinations of solid and liquid propellant strap-on motors). A fully fueled Ariane core cannot lift off the ground without strap-on liquid or solid motors. When Ariane 4 is launched in this configuration, the propellant tanks of the first and second stages are not completely filled. Development was authorised in January 1982, with the objective of increasing payload by 90%. Total development cost 476 million 1986 ECU's.

Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44LP. Ariane 4 with 2 liquid rocket + 2 solid rocket strap-ons.

Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44L. Ariane 4 with 4 liquid rocket strap-ons.

Launch Vehicle: Ariane 42P. Ariane 4 with 2 solid rocket strap-ons.

Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44P. Ariane 4 with 4 solid rocket strap-ons.

Launch Vehicle: Ariane 42L. Ariane 4 with 2 liquid rocket strap-ons.

Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5.

Completely new design, with a single-engine Lox/LH2 core stage flanked by two solid rocket boosters. Preparatory work began in 1984. Full scale development began in 1988 and cost $ 8 billion. The design was sized for the Hermes manned spaceplane, later cancelled. This resulted in the booster being a bit too large for the main commercial payload, geosynchronous communications satellites. The result was that development of an uprated version capable of launching two such satellites at a time was funded in 2000.

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Last update 3 May 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .