Ariane

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Airane 5 Launch

Ariane 5 ECA launches GSAT-31 and SaudiGeoSat-1 from the Guiana Space Center on February 5, 2019. | Credit: Arianspace

About Arianespace

Arianespace-launchsite
Arianespace was established in 1980 as the world’s first commercial space transportation company. With over 40 years’ experience, Arianespace is the most trusted commercial launch services provider chosen by more than 270 customers. Arianespace competitiveness is demonstrated by the market’s largest order book that confirms the confidence of Arianespace worldwide customers. Arianespace has processing and launch experience with all commercial satellite platforms as well as with highly demanding scientific missions.

Backed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the resources of its 16 corporate shareholders and Europe’s major aerospace companies, Arianespace combines the scientific and technical expertise of its European industrial partners to provide world-class launch services. Continued political support for European access to space and international cooperation agreements with Russia at state level ensure the long term stability and reliability of the Arianespace family of launch vehicles.

With its family of launch vehicles, Arianespace is the reference service providing: launches of any mass, to any orbit, at any time.
Ariane Vehicle Descriptions

Ariane 5

General Description

Ariane 5 launches 5 February 2019

Ariane 5 ECA launches GSAT-31 and SaudiGeoSat-1 from the Guiana Space Center on February 5, 2019. | Courtesy Arianespace


National Origin

Europe

Main Organization


Summary

In 1988 Europe began developing the Ariane 5 as a higher-performance, lower-cost replacement for the Ariane 4. The first launch in 1996 ended in failure, resulting in an extended flight test period that delayed entry into commercial service until 1999. Like Ariane 4, Ariane 5 is designed to provide lower-cost launch services by comanifesting two or more satellites on each launch. Because commercial satellites have increased in mass significantly, the initial Ariane 5G version was upgraded to the G+ version with an improved EPS second stage to increase its GTO capacity to 7,100 kg (single payload) or 6,300 kg (two payloads). It flew three times in 2004, with no failures. The GS version used the improved EAP boosters of the ECA variant and the improved EPS of the G+ variant, but the increased mass of the modified ECA core compared to the G and G+ core resulted in slightly reduced payload capacity, 6,600 kg or a dual payload of 5,800 kg to GTO. The Ariane 5 GS flew 6 times from 2005 to 2009 with no failures. The Ariane 5ECA uses an improved Vulcain 2 first-stage engine with a longer, more efficient nozzle with a more efficient flow cycle and denser propellant ratio. The EPS second stage was replaced by the ESC-A which uses the liquid oxygen tank and lower structure from the Ariane 4's H10 third stage, mated to a new liquid hydrogen tank. Additionally, the EAP booster casings were lightened with new welds and carry more propellant. The Ariane 5 ECA started with a GTO launch capacity of 9,100 kg for dual payloads or 9,600 kg for a single payload. Later the max payload to GTO was increased to 11,115 kg. It has flown successfully 75 times from 2005 through 2020 with no failures. The Ariane 5ES has an estimated LEO launch capacity of 21,000 kg. It includes all the performance improvements of Ariane 5 ECA core and boosters but replaces the ESC-A second stage with the restartable EPS used on Ariane 5 GS variants. The Ariane 5 ES flew 8 times from 2008 to 2018 with no failures.

Flight Rate

5-6 per year

Estimated Launch Price

$125–155 million (FAA 2002)


Spaceports

Launch Sites Guiana Space Center, ELA-3
Location 5.2° N, 52.8° W
Available Inclinations 5.2–100.5 deg (launch azimuth is –10.5–91.5 deg)

The Guiana Space Center (CSG) offers ideal conditions for launching any payload to any orbit at any time. Located at 5 degrees North latitude, its proximity to the equator provides an extra boost of energy due to the Earth’s rotation – a slingshot effect that is greater here than at most other launch sites.


Primary Missions

Commercial GTO payloads


Status

Operational. First launch in 2005.

Key Organizations

Marketing Organization

Launch Service Provider

Prime Contractor


Performance

The performance capability quoted below includes the spacecraft mass plus the mass of any required adapter and/or dual payload structures.

Ariane 5G Ariane 5GS Ariane 5ECA Ariane 5ES
200 km (108 nmi), 5.2 deg ? ? ? 21,000 kg (46,297 lbm)
200 km (108 nmi), 90 deg ? ? ? ?
Space Station Orbit: 407 km (220 nm), 51.6 deg 16,000 kg (35,300 lbm) ? ? 20,000 kg (44,100 lbm)
Sun-Synchronous Orbit: 800 km (432 nm), 98.6 deg 9500 kg (20,950 lbm) ? ? ?
GTO: 580x 35,786 km (313 x 19,323 nmi), 7 deg 6700 kg (14,770 lbm) 6600 kg (14,600 lbm) 11,115 kg (24,504 lbm) (250 km, 135 nmi perigee) 7575 kg (16,700 lbm)
Geosynchronous Orbit No capability ? No capability No capability
Earth Escape (   3.475
   k is (declination   3.8 deg)
    4550 kg (10,031 lbm)  
Ariane 6

General Description

Ariane 6 on Launchpad

Ariane 6 on launch pad and the mobile gantry | Credit: Arianespace


National Origin

Europe

Main Organization


Summary

Ariane 6 is intended to halve the cost compared to Ariane 5, and double the capacity for the number of launches per year from six to twelve. Ariane 6 is designed with two core stages both powered by liquid hydrogen-liquid oxygen engines. The first stage has an improved version of the Vulcain engine already used on the Ariane 5, while the second stage has a newly-designed Vinci engine. Most of the initial lift-off thrust is provided by solid rocket boosters attached to the first stage: either two or four P120s (Ariane 62 and Ariane 64 variants respectively), which are larger versions of the P80s used on the Vega rocket. ESA selected the design concept in 2014. Further high-level design was completed in 2015 and the vehicle entered the detailed design phase in 2016. Arianespace placed the first production order in May 2019. The first test flight was initially scheduled for 2020, but following several delays is now expected in the second quarter of 2022.

Flight Rate

TBD per year

Estimated Launch Price

$125–155 million (FAA 2002)


Spaceports

Launch Sites Guiana Space Center, ELA-3
Location 5.2° N, 52.8° W
Available Inclinations 5.2–100.5 deg (launch azimuth is –10.5–91.5 deg)

The Guiana Space Center (CSG) offers ideal conditions for launching any payload to any orbit at any time. Located at 5 degrees North latitude, its proximity to the equator provides an extra boost of energy due to the Earth’s rotation – a slingshot effect that is greater here than at most other launch sites.


Primary Missions

Commercial GTO payloads


Status

Ariane 6: Flight test. First launch 2022 (planned).

Key Organizations

Marketing Organization

Launch Service Provider

Prime Contractor


Performance

The performance capability quoted below includes the spacecraft mass plus the mass of any required adapter and/or dual payload structures.

Ariane 62 Ariane 64
200 km (108 nmi), 5.2 deg 10,350 kg (22,820 lbm  ) 21,650 kg (47,730 lbm  )
900 km (486 nmi), 90 deg 7000 kg (22,046 lbm  ) 15,400 kg (33,951 lbm  )
Space Station Orbit: 250 km (135 nmi), 51.6 deg 10,000 kg (22,046 lbm  ) 20,000 kg (44,100 lbm  )
Sun-Synchronous Orbit: 500 km (270 nmi), 97.4 deg 7200 kg (15,873 lbm  ) 15,500kg (34,17 lb  )
GTO: 580x 35,786 km (313 x 19,323 nmi), 7 deg 4500 kg (9921 lbm  ) 11,500 kg (25,400 lbm  )
Geosynchronous Orbit No capability 5000 kg (11,000 lb  )
Earth Escape (   2.5
   k is (free declination)
2600 kg (5732 llb  ) 6900 kg (15,212 lb  )