Ariane-5 (Expendable Rocket) is part of the European Union's Space Program. At present, the Ariane 5 functions as a Commercial Satellite Launcher and will be used to launch the ATV Cargo/Supply Spacecraft to the International Space station (ISS) in the future. Ariane-5 is the successor to Ariane-4.
Ariane 5 Specifications:
The Main Cryogenic Stage is the core of the Ariane 5 launcher. It is 30 meters high and utilizes the Vulcain Rocket Engine. The propellants are Liquid Hydogen and Liquid Oxygen.
Two Solid Rocket Boosters are around 30 metres high. The two solid boosters deliver more than 90 percent of the total launcher's thrust at the start of flight.
Upper Stage is
used to propel the payload to its final orbit. The upper stage uses storable
Ariane-5 is developing new upper stages, along with modifications to the main cryogenic stage and solid boosters, that will increase performance and meet demands of space commercial launch market.
Ariane-5 Upper Stages:
Ariane-5 ESC-A upper stage will enable Ariane 5 to place 10,000-10,500 kg into geostationary orbit beginning in 2002.
Ariane 5 ESC-B upper stage will increase GTO payload performance to 11,000-12,000 kg from 2006. It is powered by the new Vinci engine.
Ariane 5 Versatile is an improved version of Ariane 5's current upper stage. It will be paced in service in late 2001. This will increase the GTO payload lift capability to 7,300-8,000 kg.
Cryogenic Main Stage and
The main stage's propellant tanks will be changed and a new Vulcain engine version used, while the solid boosters' propellant load is to be increased.
History of the Ariane-5
The first flight of the Ariane 5 was in June, 1996 carrying four ESA Cluster satellites, unfortunately the launch failed. Ariane 5's first commercially successful launch was the European Space Agency's X-ray Multi Mirror (XMM) Space Telescope.
Ariane-5's payload capacity to geostationary transfer orbit is 6,200-kg. Arianespace is in progress of increasing Ariane 5's performance to 12,000 in GTO.
Launcher Family, Ariane 5 Introduction:
Spaceflight Magazine, page 91, Vol. 42, March 2000
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