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Ariane 5 reaches 100th launch

on 01 October 2018

On 26 September, Ariane 5 had its milestone 100th launch, delivering the Horizons-3e and Azerspace-2/Intelsat-38 telecom satellites into their planned orbits.

The launch took place at 22:38 GMT (00:38 CEST on 26 September, 19:38 local time) from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The mission lasted about 42 minutes. Horizons-3e, with a launch mass of 6441 kg, was the first to be released after about 28 minutes. The 3500 kg Azerspace-2/Intelsat-38 was released 14 minutes later.

The performance requested for this launch was about 10 827 kg. The satellites totalled about 9941 kg, with payload adapters and carrying structures making up the rest.

The ‘My life #withariane’ website set up by ArianeGroup, ESA, France’s CNES space agency and Arianespace, tells the story of this remarkable launcher and how it benefits our daily lives.

The efforts of Member States in developing and sustaining Ariane and Vega have established well-recognised European industry competences that allow industry to participate in international tenders.

It was at the ESA Council meeting at Ministerial level in December 2014 in Luxembourg that Member States decided to begin development of Ariane 6 and Vega-C. Romania then joined the states that are developing the next generation of European launchers.

Ariane 6 will succeed Ariane 5 to enable Europe to maintain leadership in the fast-changing commercial launch service market while responding to the needs of European institutional missions. Currently, works are advancing towards an inauguration in 2020.

Image credit: ESA