Launching Ariane

Airbus Safran Launchers: Ariane 5 beats its payload record on its 79th consecutive successful launch 06-02-2017 |  3 minutes

  • On its third launch of the year, Ariane 5 tops its own commercial performance record by carrying more than 10.8 tons to geostationary transfer orbit
  • Two successful Ariane 5 launches in less than a month
  • Four more Ariane 5 launches scheduled for this year
  • 93rd launch of an Ariane 5
  • 79th consecutive successful launch
  • 9,969 kg net mass for the satellites

In its third launch of this year, Ariane 5 successfully completed its 79th consecutive successful mission from the European space port of Kourou (French Guiana, placing two telecommunications satellites in geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).


Not only have Airbus Safran Launchers and Arianespace carried out two Ariane 5 launches in less than a month – which in itself represents a major feat in terms of organization and performance – but the Ariane 5 ECA has also beaten its own commercial payload record by placing more than 10.8 tons into geostationary orbit”, declared Alain Charmeau, CEO of Airbus Safran Launchers. “These successes confirm the permanent commitment of our teams to adapt and improve the performance of Ariane 5, while preparing for the future performance and launch rates of Ariane 6 in the best possible conditions. I wish to express my gratitude to all of them for their talent and their reliability and I wish to thank the European Space Agency and CNES for their unfailing confidence and support.

The launch performance of this Ariane 5 ECA was 9,969 kg net mass for the satellites, or a gross mass of 10,865 kg (including the ACU [payload adapters], the SYLDA -Ariane dual launch system- and the LVA 3936 -Launch Vehicle Adaptor-), thus improving by 130 kg the record of 10,735 kg gross mass to geostationary orbit set in August 2016.

Ariane 5 is the spearhead of European know-how and one of the most wide-ranging and ambitious space programs in the world. Its flexibility enables it to transport heavy payloads into low Earth orbit, several satellites into medium Earth orbit or, as it is the case today, one or two satellites into geostationary transfer orbit with an optimized lifetime.
Airbus Safran Launchers is lead contractor for the Ariane 5 launchers. The company is also industrial lead contractor for Europe’s future Ariane 6 launcher, which is scheduled for a first flight in 2020 and which will replace Ariane 5 in about 2023.Airbus Safran Launchers coordinates an industrial network of more than 600 companies in 13 European countries (including more than 350 Small and Medium Enterprises). Airbus Safran Launchers oversees the entire industrial chain, from management of launcher performance upgrades, to production management, to final adjustment with supply of the mission flight software and, from now on, its marketing through Arianespace. This chain includes equipment and structures, engine manufacturing, integration of the various stages and finally the integration of the launcher in French Guiana.

  • 135th consecutive success by a launcher fitted with the HM7B engi
  • 62nd launch of an Ariane 5 ECA
  • 16th Ariane 5 launch with Airbus Safran Launchers as lead contractor
  • 67th consecutive success by a launcher fitted with a Vulcain® 2 engine

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