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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 4 modular launch vehicle capitalized experience gained by Ariane 1-3 launchers. Six Ariane 4 versions were available to meet the requirements of many customers during the service life of this launch system between 1988 and 2003. Ariane 4 launch vehicles performed 116 launches carrying 182 payloads until their retirement.
Using the flexible building block approach Ariane 4 was capable of carrying payloads weighing from 4,409 lb to 10,802 lb (2,000 kg to 4,900 kg) to GTO. It features a more powerful core launcher that can be equipped with solid and liquid propellant strap-on boosters depending on mission needs.
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