Once upon a launch:
April 2, 1989, Flight VA30

Ariane 2’s last mission before rocketing into the Launcher Hall of Fame. Ariane 2 paved the way for the great workhorse launchers, Ariane 4 and 5. Revisit its last flight in these archive images.

Once upon a launch: <br/>April 2, 1989, Flight VA30
The Ariane 2 adventure began in 1986, and over the following three years, a further five successful launches blasted into the sky from Kourou in French Guiana.

The Ariane 2 adventure began in 1986, and over the following three years, a further five s...

In terms of structure, Ariane 2 was almost identical to Ariane 1, except for its third stage which was 1.2 metres longer, allowing it to take on board an additional two metric tons of propellant and thus increase its payload capacity by 325 kg.

In terms of structure, Ariane 2 was almost identical to Ariane 1, except for its third sta...

Ariane 2 bowed out after a total of six flights, five of them successful. These images, taken at the ELA 1 launch site in Kourou at 02H28 (UT) on April 2, 1989, show Ariane 2 carrying the Swedish Tele-X communications satellite into GTO.

Ariane 2 bowed out after a total of six flights, five of them successful. These images, ta...

This last Ariane 2flight was completely successful, setting the scene for the next Ariane launcher and its 113 faultless missions. But this successor was not Ariane 3 (identical to Ariane 2 but with two additional solid propellant motors, retired in the same year as Ariane 2) but rather another member of the Ariane family.

This last Ariane 2flight was completely successful, setting the scene for the next Ariane ...

Ariane 2 was a crucial stage in the history of European launchers and opened the way for an even more versatile and diversified offering in the shape of Ariane 4 with its six configurations to suit every demand and type of flight.

Ariane 2 was a crucial stage in the history of European launchers and opened the way for a...

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