Space Launch Report:  Ariane 5 Data Sheet
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Ariane 503 (Arianespace)Ariane 5

Vehicle Configurations

Vehicle Components

Ariane 5 Launch History

Ariane 5 was developed by the European Space Agency to replace Arianespace's Ariane 4 commercial satellite launcher.  The big rocket was originally sized to launch a pair of satellites each weighing 2 to 3 metric tons (tonnes) to geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).  It was subsequently upgraded to handle dual 4 to 5 tonne payloads.

Ariane 5 uses 2.5 stages and four propulsion units.   At liftoff, its twin segmented solid motors provide more than 500 tonnes thrust each to augment the single core stage Vulcain LOX/LH2 engine's 110 tonnes of thrust. The original Ariane 5 G ("Generic") version used a hypergolic EPS second stage with a 2.6 tonne thrust Aestus engine.

Ariane 5 ECA uses an "E" ("Evolution") core stage, powered by an upgraded Vulcain 2 of 138 tonnes thrust, and an ESC-A upper stage. ESC-A is an upgraded Ariane 4 LOX/LH2 third stage with a 6.4 tonne thrust HM7B engine.  Slightly upgraded solid motors were also developed to power the "E" vehicles.  Ariane 5 ECA can boost about 10 tonnes to GTO, including satellite adapter hardware.  It stands nearly 58 meters tall with a long payload fairing.  

Future plans call for development of a new 15 tonne thrust, restartable Vinci engine to replace the HM7B engine. The reengined stage, named ESC-B, will create an upgraded Ariane 5 ECB capable of lifting 12 tons to GTO.  Ariane 5 ECB may enter service in 2017 or 2018.

A fourth Ariane 5 variant, named Ariane 5 ES(V) (also called Ariane 5 "Versatile"), flew for the first time in March 2008.  This version uses the "E" core stage and the same solid rocket boosters as the Ariane 5 ECA.  Ariane 5 ES(V) uses an Aestus-powered storable propellant (EPS-V) stage that can carry as much as 10 tons of propellant, 0.3 tons more than the initial model, although smaller propellant loads are used for low earth orbit missions.  Unlike earlier "G" model EPS stages, the "ES(V)" EPS-V stage can be restarted.   Ariane 5 ES(V) was developed to launch Europe's 20 ton ATV automated cargo carrier to the International Space Station (ISS). 

Two interim G-series models appeared during the G to E transition period.  Ariane 5G+ was a standard Generic model topped by the 10-ton propellant EPS upper stage that flew during 2004.  Ariane 5GS added the improved E-class solid motors to the G+ configuration. 

Ariane 5's solid boosters are produced adjacent to the new ELA-3 launch site at Kourou Space Center, stacked in a dedicated building on a launcher platform, then rolled to the launcher integration building. There, the first and second stages are mated.  Although the site is designed to support 6-8 Ariane 5s per year, only 3 were launched each year during the 2002 to 2004 period.

Ariane 5 qualification testing began inauspiciously on 4 June 1996, when Ariane 501 exploded 39 seconds after launch from Kourou. A guidance system failure was blamed. Successor Ariane 502 made it to orbit on 30 October 1997, but first stage roll-control problems caused a slight loss of velocity and the test payloads fell just short of their planned geosychronous transfer orbit (GTO). Ariane 503 finally qualified the vehicle with a successful flight on 21 October 1998. All three of the test flights carried dummy or experimental payloads.  Ariane 504 inaugurated commercial service on 1999 December 10 when it orbited ESA's 3,764 kg X-Ray Multi-Mirror spacecraft.   The Ariane 5 G/G+/GS series ended its run in 2009 after achieving 22 successes in 25 attempts and ending with 15 consecutive successes.

A failed Vulcain-2 engine doomed the inaugural Ariane 5 ECA flight (Ariane 517) on December 11, 2002, destroying the Hotbird 7 communications satellite.   After an extensive Vulcain-2 redesign and testing effort, Ariane 5 ECA finally flew successfully on February 12, 2005 when Ariane 521 boosted XTAR-EUR and MaqSatB2 into GTO.  By early 2014, the Ariane 5 ECA series had achieved 41 consecutive successes after the single, inaugural failure, establishing itself as one of the world's most reliable launch vehicles.  

The first Ariane 5 ES flight, the March 9, 2008 V-181 mission, successfully orbited 19.012 tonne ATV-1 "Jules Verne" into a 51.6 deg low earth orbit.

Vehicle Configurations

  LEO Payload
(metric tons)
(800 km SSO)
(500 km ISS)
GTO Payload
1500 m/s
to GEO*
(metric tons)
Configuration LIftoff Height
(meters)
Liftoff Mass
(metric tons)
Ariane 5G 9.5 t (SSO) 6.64 t G Core +
2 SRB + EPS
54 m 720 t
Ariane 5 ES(V) 15.7 t (SSO)
19.3 t (ISS)
7.575 t E Core +
2 SRB + EPS-V
53.4 m 756 t
Ariane 5 ECA   10.05 t E Core +
2 SRB + ESC-A
57.7 m 764 t
Ariane 5 ECB   12 t E Core +
2 SRB + ESC-B
57.7 m 764+ t

* GEO: Geosynchronous Earth Orbit

Vehicle Components

  SRBs
EAP-G
(EAP-E)
Cryo Core
(EPC)
Generic ("G")
Cryo Core
(EPC)
Evolution ("E")
EPS
(EPS-V)
ESC-A ESC-B
Diameter (m) 3 m 5.4 m 5.4 m 5.4 m  5.4 m
5.4 m
Length (m) 31.6 m 30.5 m 30.5 m    4.711 m
 
Propellant Mass (tons) 237 t
(240 t)
158 t 175 t 9.7 t
10 t (V)
14.9 t 25 t
Total Mass (tons) 268 t
(278 t)
170 t 189 t 10.9 t
11.3 t (V)
 19.44 t
 
Engine   Vulcain Vulcain 2 Aestus HM7B Vinci
Fuel   LH2 LH2 MMH LH2 LH2
Oxidizer   LOX LOX N2O4 LOX LOX
Thrust (vac tons) 509.9 t 112.167 t 137.662 t 2.957 t 6.424 t 15.3 t
ISP (vac sec) 274.5 s
431.2 s 431.2 s 321 s 446 s 466 s
Burn Time (sec) 130 s 600 s 540 s 1000 s (V)  945 s  
No. Engines 1 1 1 1 1 1

Vehicle Components, Cont'd

  VEB Sylda 5 Speltra Short Fairing Long Fairing  
Diameter (meters) 5.4 m     5.4 m 5.4 m  
Length (meters) 1.56 m     12.7 m 17 m  
Mass (tons) 1.9 t 0.425-0.5 t 0.716-0.822 t   2.5 t  
Ariane 5 Launch History 

DATE     VEHICLE           ID      PAYLOAD                    MASS(t) SITE*   ORBIT**
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
04/06/96 Ariane 5G         L501   V89/Cluster FM1-4            4.80   KO 3    [FTO][1]
 
10/30/97 Ariane 5G         L502   V101/MaqSat H/B/Teamsat      4.98   KO 3    [EEO][2]

10/21/98 Ariane 5G         L503   V112/Maqsat 3/ARD            5.40   KO 3     GTO [3]

12/10/99 Ariane 5G         L504   V119/XRMM                    3.80   KO 3     HTO 

03/21/00 Ariane 5G         L505   V128/Insat 3B/Asiastar       4.836  KO 3     GTO
09/14/00 Ariane 5G         L506   V130/Astra-2B/GE-7           5.30   KO 3     GTO
11/16/00 Ariane 5G         L507   V135/PAS-1R/AmSat-3D         5.608  KO 3     GTO
12/20/00 Ariane 5G         L508   V138/Astra 2D/GE-8           3.701  KO 3     GTO
 
03/08/01 Ariane 5G         L509   V140/Eurobird/Bsat-2a        4.368  KO 3     GTO
07/12/01 Ariane 5G         L510   V142/Artemis/BSat2B          4.403  KO 3    [EEO][4]

03/01/02 Ariane 5G         L511   V145/Envisat                 8.111  KO 3     LEO/S
07/05/02 Ariane 5G         L512   V153/Stellat 5/NStar C       5.72   KO 3     GTO
08/28/02 Ariane 5G         L513   V155/Atlanic Bird 1/MSG 1    4.72   KO 3     GTO 
12/11/02 Ariane 5 ECA      L517   V157/HotBird 7/Stentor       5.547  KO 3    [FTO][5]

04/09/03 Ariane 5G         L514   V160/Insat 3A/Galaxy 12      4.708  KO 3     GTO
06/11/03 Ariane 5G         L515   V161/Optus C1/BSat 2C        6.023  KO 3     GTO
09/27/03 Ariane 5G         L516   V162/Insat 3E/eBird/SMART 1  4.635  KO 3     GTO

03/02/04 Ariane 5G+        L518   V158/Rosetta                 3.011  KO 3     HCO
07/18/04 Ariane 5G+        L519   V163/Anik F2                 5.950  KO 3     GTO
12/18/04 Ariane 5G+        L520   V165/Helios 2A               4.2    KO 3     LEO/S

02/12/05 Ariane 5 ECA      L521   V164/XTAR-EUR/MaqSat B2      7.379  KO 3     GTO 
08/11/05 Ariane 5 GS       L523   V166/iPStar 1                6.485  KO 3     GTO
10/13/05 Ariane 5 GS       L524   V168/Syracuse3A/Galaxy15     5.758  KO 3     GTO
11/16/05 Ariane 5 ECA      L522   V167/Spaceway2/Telkom2       8.095  KO 3     GTO
12/21/05 Ariane 5 GS       L525   V169/MSG-2/Insat-4A          5.115  KO 3     GTO

03/11/06 Ariane 5 ECA      L527   V170/Hotbird 7A/SpainSat     7.78   KO 3     GTO 
05/27/06 Ariane 5 ECA      L529   V171/Satmex 6/Thiacom 5      8.23   KO 3     GTO
08/11/06 Ariane 5 ECA      L531   V172/Syracuse 3B/JCSAT 10    7.80   KO 3     GTO
10/13/06 Ariane 5 ECA      L533   V173/DirecTB9S/OptusD1       8.18   KO 3     GTO
12/08/06 Ariane 5 ECA      L534   V174/Wildblue 1/AMC-18       6.82   KO 3     GTO

03/11/07 Ariane 5 ECA      A535   V175 Skynet 5A/Insat 4B      7.67   KO 3     GTO
05/04/07 Ariane 5 ECA      A536   V176 Astra 1L/Galaxy 17      8.60   KO 3     GTO
08/14/07 Ariane 5 ECA      A537   V177 Spaceway 3/BSAT 3A      8.06   KO 3     GTO
10/05/07 Ariane 5 GS       A526   V178 Intelsat 11/Optus D2    4.85   KO 3     GTO
11/14/07 Ariane 5 ECA      A538   Skynet5B/StarOne(V179)       8.735  KO 3     GTO
12/21/07 Ariane 5 GS       A530   V180/RAscom 1/Horizons 2     5.464  KO 3     GTO

03/09/08 Ariane 5 ES       L528   V181/ATV-1 Jules Verne      19.01   KO 3     LEO/ISS
04/18/08 Ariane 5 ECA      L529   V182/VINASAT 1/StarOne C2    6.74   KO 3     GTO
06/12/08 Ariane 5 ECA      L540   V183/Skynet5C/Turksat3A      7.75   KO 3     GTO
07/07/08 Ariane 5 ECA      L541   V184/ProtoStar 1/BADR 6      7.537  KO 3     GTO
08/14/08 Ariane 5 ECA      L542   V185/Superbird 7/AMC 21      7.27   KO 3     GTO
12/20/08 Ariane 5 ECA      L543   V186/Hotbird9/W2M            8.34   KO 3     GTO

02/12/09 Ariane 5 ECA      L545   V187/Hotbird 10/NSS 9        7.422  KO 3     GTO
05/14/09 Ariane 5 ECA      L546   V188/Herschel/Plank          5.32   KO 3     HTO
07/01/09 Ariane 5 ECA      L547   V189/TerreStar 1             6.91   KO 3     GTO
08/21/09 Ariane 5 ECA      L548   V190/JCSAT 12/Optus D3       4.5    KO 3     GTO
10/01/09 Ariane 5 ECA      L549   V191/Amazonas 2/GMS          8.0    KO 3     GTO
10/29/09 Ariane 5 ECA      L550   V192/NSS 12/Thor 6           8.675  KO 3     GTO
12/18/09 Ariane 5 GS       L551   V193/Helios 2B               4.2    KO 3     LEO/S

05/21/10 Ariane 5 ECA      L551   V194/Astra3B/COMSATBw2       7.97   KO 3     GTO
06/26/10 Ariane 5 ECA      L552   V195/Arabsat5A/COMS1         7.4    KO 3     GTO
08/04/10 Ariane 5 ECA      L554   V196/RascomQAF1R/COMS        6.25   KO 3     GTOS
10/28/10 Ariane 5 ECA      L555   V197/W3B/BSAT 3b             7.43   KO 3     GTO
11/26/10 Ariane 5 ECA      L556   V198/Intelsat17/Hylas1       8.08   KO 3     GTO
12/29/10 Ariane 5 ECA      L557   V199/Hispasat1E/KoreaSat6    8.17   KO 3     GTO

02/16/11 Ariane 5 ES       L544   V200/ATV-2 Johannes Kepler  19.7    KO 3     LEO/ISS
04/22/11 Ariane 5 ECA      L558   VA201/Yahsat1A/IntelsatND    8.97   KO 3     GTO
05/20/11 Ariane 5 ECA      L559   VA202/ST2/GSAT 8             8.19   KO 3     GTO
08/06/11 Ariane 5 ECA      L560   VA203/Astra 1N/BSat 3c       8.26   KO 3     GTO
09/21/11 Ariane 5 ECA      L561   VA204/Arabsat 5C/SES-2       7.85   KO 3     GTO

03/23/12 Ariane 5 ES       L553   VA205/ATV-3 Edoardo Amaldi  19.714  KO 3     LEO/ISS
05/15/12 Ariane 5 ECA      L562   VA206/JCSAT13/VINASAT2       7.5    KO 3     GTO
07/06/12 Ariane 5 ECA      L563   VA207/Echostar 17/MSG 3      8.13   KO 3     GTO
08/02/12 Ariane 5 ECA      L564   VA208/Intelsat 20/Hylas2     9.4    KO 3     GTO
09/28/12 Ariane 5 ECA      L565   VA209/Astra 2F/GSat 10       9.4    KO 3     GTO
11/10/12 Ariane 5 ECA      L566   VA210/Eutlst21B/Star1-C3     8.24   KO 3     GTO
12/19/12 Ariane 5 ECA      L567   VA211/Skynet 5D/Mexsat 3     7.80   KO 3     GTO

02/07/13 Ariane 5 ECA      L568   VA212/Amazonas 3/Azerspace   9.265  KO 3     GTO
06/05/13 Ariane 5 ES       L592   VA213/ATV-4 Albert Einstein 19.89   KO 3     LEO/ISS
07/25/13 Ariane 5 ECA      L569   VA214/Alphasat XL/Insat 3D   8.77   KO 3     GTO
08/29/13 Ariane 5 ECA      L570   VA215/Eutelsat 25B/Gsat 7    8.96   KO 3     GTO

02/06/14 Ariane 5 ECA      L572   VA217/ABS2/Athena-Fidus      9.41   KO 3     GTO
03/22/14 Ariane 5 ECA      L571   VA216/Astra 5B/Amaz. 4A      8.662  KO 3     GTO
07/29/14 Ariane 5 ES       L593   VA219/ATV 5                 19.926  KO 3     LEO/ISS
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] First Ariane 5 test flight.  Control lost 37 seconds after liftoff at 3.7 km 
     altitude, causing vehicle break up and destruction.  Inertial Reference System 
     failed due to a software exception resulting from floating point Operand error.  
     Cause was result of specification and design errors in the software of the 
     inertial reference system, due to decision to reuse Ariane 4 flight software.     

[2] First stage rolled causing Vulcain main engine to shut down 10-20 seconds early.  
     Test flight payloads were left near 535 x 26,631 km x 7.79 deg orbits, lower 
     than planned GTO. 

[3] Successful test flight put 2.6 tonne Maqsat 3 dummysat into GTO.  The 2.8 tonne 
     Advanced Reentry Demonstrator (ARD), released after Stage 1 separation, flew 
     a suborbital reentry test to 830 km apogee, splashed down 1 hour 41 minutes 
     after liftoff in the Pacific Ocean between the Marquises and Hawaii, and was 
     recovered a few hours later.

[4] Storable Propellant Stage (EPS) Stage 2 Aestus engine burned at only 80% thrust 
     and cutoff 80 seconds early, leaving payload in 592 x 17,528 km x 2.9 deg 
     orbit, far from planned 858 x 35,853 km x 2 deg geosynchronous transfer orbit. 
     Cause identified to be combustion instability at Aestus ignition, which led 
     to low thrust and premature depletion of N2O4 or MMH propellant.  Water vapor 
     in propellant lines may have caused instability.   

[5] First Ariane 5 ECA failed when Vulcain 2 core engine suffered cracked cooling 
     tubes.  Failure in engine began at T+96 sec.  Thrust fluctuations began at 
     T+178 sec.  RSO at T+456 sec. 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------   
     



References

Ariane 5 User's Manual, Arianespace, November 2004
V-181 Press Kit, Arianespace, March 2008


Last Update:  August 6, 2014