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Description: The Ariane launch vehicle family was developed to provide Europe with an independent space access capability. The primary target for the Ariane launcher are commercial satellites. The first Ariane 1 was launched in 1979 and since then Arianespace has strengthened its position becoming the world's leader in commercial launch services.
The Ariane 1-3 are based on a three stages configuration comprising the L140 first stage powered by four strap-on Viking V engines, the L33 second stage powered by one Viking IV rocket motor, and the H8 upper stage powered by the HM-7 cryogenic engine.
The first Ariane 1 vehicle was launched in 1979 being available for commercial launches in 1984 and placing 14 spacecraft into orbit along all its career. It was capable of carrying a 3,968 lb (1,800 kg) payload to a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
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