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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 Ariane 2 development began in 1980 aiming to place into orbit larger payloads than Ariane 1 launcher. It features a modified upper stage with an increased capacity for propellant (+10 tons) that was named the H10 instead of H8. This modification allows Ariane 2 to place payloads of 4,850 lb (2,200 kg) into Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO).
The first Ariane 2 launch was in 1986 totaling 6 flight and placing in orbit 5 payloads.
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