The reward for over 2 years of effort
This success is the culmination of more than 2 years of effort, involving 20,000 seconds of firing tests on the Vulcain 2 engine implicated in the previous launch failure, a series of corrective actions and a launch campaign of more than 120 days at the Guiana Space Centre, consisting of 4,000 operations since last August.
After a short delay due to a problem interpreting pressure sensor readings, Ariane ascended into the sky over French Guiana. Powered by 20% more thrust at lift-off, Ariane 5 ECA’s impressive climb was visible until separation of its EAP solid boosters at an altitude of 69 km.
In memory of Hubert Curien
Hubert Curien, CNES’s President from 1976 to 1984 who witnessed the very first Ariane launch in 1979, died only days before this latest landmark event. “On behalf of the European and French space community, I would like to dedicate this success to him,” said Yannick d’Escatha. “He was one of the chief motivators at the start of the Ariane adventure that has written a new page in its history today.”
Ariane 1 to 4, the saga of the Ariane launcher
Previous news - 9 February 2005
Guiana Space center website