January 1, 2015

The Ariane series at a glance

Since 1979, no fewer than 221 Ariane launchers have lifted off from the Guiana Space Centre (CSG).

The Ariane series at a glance

LauncherAriane 1Ariane 2Ariane 3Ariane 4Ariane 5
Masse au décollage210 t219 t234 t243 à 480 t750 à 780 t
Lift capacity into GTO1,75 t2,20 t2,60 t2 à 4,8 t6,9 à 10 t
Thrust*250 t270 t270 t270 à 540 t1 200 à 1 300 t
Height47,4 m49 m49 m59 m47 à 53 m
Design lifetime1981 - 19861986 - 19891984 - 19891988 - 20031996 - ...

* Thrust is measured in kilo-newtons (kN) but is commonly expressed in tonnes. To interpret the value of a force expressed in kN, divide it by ten to obtain a figure roughly corresponding to the mass (in tonnes) that the force can lift.
** Figures as of 1 January 2015

Ariane 5 variants

LauncherAriane 5 G Ariane 5 G+ Ariane 5 GS Ariane 5 ECA Ariane 5 ES ATV 
HeightUp to 52 mUp to 52 mUp to 47 mUp to 52 mUp to 53 m
Launch mass
746 t746 t750 t780 t775 t
Masse de la charge utile pour lancement simple6,9 t (GTO1)6,9 t (GTO1)6,5 t (GTO1)10 t (GTO1)Jusqu'à 21 t (sur orbite basse à 300 km d'altitude
Satellite mass for single launch5,9 t (GTO1)-6 t (GTO1)9,4 t (GTO1)-
EngineVulcainVulcainVulcainVulcain 2Vulcain 2
Upper stage
EPS2 with Aestus engineEPS2 with Aestus engineEPS2 with Aestus engineESC-A4 with HM-7B engineEPS2 with Aestus engine
Other changes-Performance boost to EPS2Performance boost to EPS2 and EAP3Performance boost to EAP3Vehicle Equipment Bay (VEB) adapted for ATV
1st launch4 June 1996 (failed)2 March 200411 August 200511 December 2002 (failed)9 March 2008
Nombre de succès*1436465

* Figures as of 1 January 2015
1 - Geostationary Transfer Orbit
2 - Etage à Propergols Stockables, storable propellant stage
3 - Etages d'Accélération à Poudre, solid rocket boosters
4 – Etage Supérieur Cryotechnique, cryogenic upper stage

Ariane 5 ECA

Ariane 5 ECA key figures
Total launch mass775 t
Satellite mass9,4 t
Total propellant mass650 t
Main Vulcain engine thrust at lift-off116 t 
Combined thrust from 2 solid rocket boosters1 370 t 
Maximum height

52 m