Milestones
Since its creation in 1980 as the world's first commercial space transportation company, Arianespace has led the launch services industry with many operational firsts and numerous record-setting missions
1989
July

July 12, 1989 July 12, 1989

Final flight of an Ariane 3, and last launch from the ELA 1 launch complex. Payload is the European Olympus telecommunications satellite.

June

June 5, 1989 June 5, 1989

First mission for the Ariane 44L version of the Ariane 4 family, equipped with four solid strap-on boosters. Passengers are Japan's Super Bird A and DFS Kopernikus 1 telecommunications satellites.

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April

April 2, 1989 April 2, 1989

Final mission of an Ariane 2 launcher version. Payload is Sweden's Tele-X direct TV broadcast satellite.

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February

February 15, 1989 February 15, 1989

European space industry received orders to manufacture 50 Ariane 4 launchers.

1988
June

June 15, 1988 June 15, 1988

Maiden flight of the increased-lift Ariane 4 version. Primary payloads are the U.S. PanAmSat 1 and European Meteosat P2. Germany's Amsat IIIC spacecraft is a secondary passenger.

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1987
November

November 21, 1987 November 21, 1987

First successful launch of an Ariane 2 version. Payload is Germany's TV-SAT 1 television broadcast satellite.

November 10, 1987 November 10, 1987

European Space Agency member countries approve Ariane 5's development.

1986
March

March 28, 1986 March 28, 1986

Ariane V17 mission is the first from the new ELA 2 launch complex at the Guiana Space Center. Passengers are the U.S. GTE Spacenet GStar 2 and Brazilian Brasilsat 2 telecommunications spacecraft.

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February

February 22, 1986 February 22, 1986

Ariane's V16 mission marks the last flight of the Ariane 1 version, and the first mission to heliosynchronous orbit. Primary payload is the French Spot 1 Earth observation satellite, with Sweden's Viking small scientific spacecraft as the secondary payload.

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1985
January

January 1, 1985 January 1, 1985

Ministers of the European Space Agency countries approve the start of preparatory work on what is to become the Ariane 5 launch vehicle.

1984
May

May 22, 1984 May 22, 1984

Ariane V9 launch, with the Spacenet 1 telecommunications satellite as payload, inaugurates the first commercial space transportation line. The mission uses the basic Ariane 1 launcher version, and is launched from the ELA 1 pad at the Guiana Space Center. The flight is the ninth mission for an Ariane.

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April

April 4, 1984 April 4, 1984

First flight of an increased-lift Ariane 3 version. Payloads are the European ECS 2 and French Telecom 1A telecommunications satellites.

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1981
November

November 2, 1981 November 2, 1981

First commercial launch services contract signed, with the U.S. company GTE Spacenet as client.

1980
March

March 26, 1980 March 26, 1980

Creation of Arianespace, the world's first commercial space transportation company.

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