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A rocket to get things into space
In order to place a satellite in a specific orbit, a rocket needs to be very powerful, with a lot of thrust.
Ariane is made up of several stages and their engines which ignite one after the other.
The rocket is also equipped with an on-board computer.
At the top of the launcher, under the fairing, is where the things it takes into space are housed: satellites, spacecraft, and cargo.
Ariane – a European adventure
The European Ariane rocket is designed, built, and financed by several European countries (including Germany and France) under the direction of the European Space Agency (ESA). ArianeGroup is lead contractor for the rocket.
Ariane is launched from Kourou in French Guiana.
Its name is a reference to the story in Greek mythology where Ariadne (Ariane in French) gave a thread to the hero Theseus, so he could find his way out of the Minotaur’s labyrinth. Symbolically, Ariane is a link between the Earth and space.
Since its first flight in 1979, Ariane has performed over 250 launches from the Kourou spaceport and carried more than 450 satellites into space.
- 2003 Unbroken series of successful launches since 2003
- 7 Up to 7 launches per year
- 10.5 t Can place payloads of up to 10.5 metric tons into orbit (GTO)
- 2 or 4 2 or 4 boosters to enable all missions
- 12 Up to 12 launches per year
- 12 Can place payloads of up to 12 metric tons into orbit (GTO)
Ariane 6 will also launch from Kourou.
It will measure between 56 m and 62 m – more than half the length of a soccer pitch – and will weigh 800 metric tons. Equipped with either two or four boosters, it will be able to perform all missions to all orbits!