Ariane 1

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search

Ariane 1
Ariane 1 Le Bourget FRA 001.jpg
Ariane 1 mock-up (Photo taken at Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace, Le Bourget, France)
Function Medium Lift Launch System
Manufacturer Les Mureaux for
Country of origin Europe
Height 50 m (164 ft)
Diameter 3.8 m (12.4 ft)
Mass 207,200 kg (456,700 lb)
Stages 4
Payload to LEO 1,400 kilograms (3,100 lb)
Payload to
1,850 kilograms (4,080 lb)
Launch history
Status Retired
Launch sites ELA-1, Guiana Space Centre
Total launches 11
Successes 9
Failures 2
First flight 24 December 1979
Last flight 22 February 1986
Notable payloads Giotto
First stage
Engines 4 Viking-2
Thrust 2,771.940 kN (623,157 lbf)
Specific impulse 281 s
Burn time 145 seconds
Fuel UDMH/N2O4
Second stage
Engines 1 Viking-4
Thrust 720.965 kN (162,079 lbf)
Specific impulse 296 s
Burn time 132 seconds
Fuel UDMH/N2O4
Third stage
Engines 1 HM7-A
Thrust 61.674 kN (13,865 lbf)
Specific impulse 443 sec
Burn time 563 seconds
Fuel LH2/LOX
Fourth stage
Engines 1 Mage 1
Thrust 19.397 kN (4,361 lbf)
Specific impulse 295 sec
Burn time 50 seconds
Fuel HTPB (solid)

Ariane 1 was the first rocket in the Ariane launcher family. Ariane 1 was designed primarily to put two telecommunications satellites at a time into orbit, thus reducing costs. As the size of satellites grew, Ariane 1 gave way to the more powerful Ariane 2 and Ariane 3 launchers.[1]

Vehicle description

Ariane 1 was the first launch vehicle to be developed by the European Space Agency. It was developed from the L3S Europa launch vehicle replacement design. The development of the vehicle was authorized in July 1973. The cost of program is estimated at 2 billion euros. With lift-off mass of 210,000 kg (460,000 lb), Ariane 1 was able to put in geostationary transfer orbit one satellite or two smaller of a maximal weight of 1,850 kg (4,080 lb).

The Ariane 1 was a four-stage vehicle (fourth stage put satellite from GTO to GEO is usually not counted as part of rocket, because it is included in 1.85 tons of payload). The first stage was equipped with 4 Viking engines developed by the Société Européenne de Propulsion. The second stage had a single Viking engine. The third stage had one LOX/LH2 bipropellant engine capable of a thrust of 7,000 kgf (69 kN). The fourth stage was powered by a single Mage-1 solid rocket booster producing a thrust of 20 kN.

This design was kept in the Ariane series until Ariane 4.[2]


The first launch was on 24 December 1979, and was successful. The second launch, in 1980, failed shortly after launch due to a combustion instability in one of the Viking first stage engines. The third launch succeeded in orbiting three satellites, and the fourth and last qualification launch was also a success.

During the next launch, the first commercial one, the rocket ceased functioning after 7 minutes of flight due to a turbopump failure in the third stage. After a complete review of the launcher, the next 6 flights were all successful. The Giotto mission's spaceprobe was successfully launched on the tenth Ariane 1 (flight V14) on 2 July 1985.

The first SPOT satellite was put into orbit by the eleventh and last launch of Ariane 1 on 22 February 1986.[3]

Launch history

Flight Date Launch Pad Payload Outcome # Remarks
L-01 24 December 1979 ELA-1 CAT-1 Success 1 First Flight
L-02 23 May 1980 ELA-1 Firewheel Subsat-1,2,3,4 Amsat P3A
Failure 2 Combustion instability in one of the Viking first stage engines
L-03 19 June 1981 ELA-1 Meteosat 2
Success 3
L-04 20 December 1981 ELA-1 MARECS 1
Success 4
L-5 10 September 1982 ELA-1 MARECS B
Sirio 2
Failure 5 First commercial launch
The rocket ceased functioning after 7 minutes of flight due to a turbopump failure in the third stage
L-6 16 June 1983 ELA-1 ECS 1
Amsat P3B (Oscar 10)
Success 6
L-7 19 October 1983 ELA-1 Intelsat 507 Success 7
L-8 5 February 1984 ELA-1 Intelsat 508 Success 8
V-9 23 May 1984 ELA-1 Spacenet 1 Success 9
V-14 2 July 1985 ELA-1 Giotto Success 10
V-16 22 February 1986 ELA-1 SPOT 1
Success 11 Last Flight


  1. "Ariane 1,2,3". Ariane 1. ESA. 2004-05-04. Retrieved 2009-09-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Ariane rocket family". Mark Wade. Astronautix. 2004-05-04. Retrieved 2009-09-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  3. "Launch History". Ariane 1. Gunter's Space Page. 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2009-09-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links