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
1999
December

December 10, 1999 December 10, 1999

Ariane 5 becomes the first new-generation heavy-lift launcher to enter commercial service with the successful Flight 119/AR 504 mission. The launcher placed its XMM X-ray observatory satellite into an accurate elliptical orbit.

Read more
Read less

December 3, 1999 December 3, 1999

Arianespace marks the 50th consecutive successful launch with the completion of Flight 124.

August

August 16, 1999 August 16, 1999

Three new payloads are announced for Arianespace launches: Insat 3A for the Indian Space Research Organisation, Telstar 7 for Space Systems/Loral and a yet unnamed satellite for PanAmSat. All three payloads are to be launched between the third quarter of 1999 and the third quarter of 2000.

Read more
Read less
July

July 20, 1999 July 20, 1999

Arianespace orders 20 Ariane 5 launchers in the P2 production batch, adding to the 14 previously contracted during 1995 for the first production batch.

June

June 18, 1999 June 18, 1999

Matra Marconi Space signs with Arianespace for the launch of Nilesat 102, the second spacecraft for Egyptian TV satellite operator Nilesat SA.

April

April 15, 1999 April 15, 1999

Arianespace Chairman & CEO Jean-Marie Luton announces a contract with Orbital Sciences Corp. for Japan's BSAT-2a and BSAT-2b spacecraft.

1998
December

December 5, 1998 December 5, 1998

Flight 114 with the Satmex 5 satellite uses a geostationary transfer orbit injection optimized by the maximum use Ariane 4's 3rd stage performance reserve.

October

October 28, 1998 October 28, 1998

The payload of 4,946kg. (10,881 lb.) with AfriStar and GE-5 on Flight 113 sets an all-time lift record for an Ariane 44L.

October 21, 1998 October 21, 1998

Ariane 5 is qualified for commercial operation following the successful Ariane 503 flight.

September

September 16, 1998 September 16, 1998

Flight 110 carries PAS-7, the 12th Arianespace launch for PanAmSat.

February

February 4, 1998 February 4, 1998

Arianespace kicks off 1999 with the 75th Ariane 4 on Flight 105, whose Brasilsat B3 and Inmarsat III F5 satellites bring to 300,000 kg. the total combined weight of satellites orbited by Ariane.

Read more
Read less
1997
December

December 22, 1997 December 22, 1997

Flight 104 ends a busy year for Arianespace, with the mission marking the shortest interval between two commercial launches – 19 days.

October

October 30, 1997 October 30, 1997

The Ariane 5 heavy-lift launcher carries its dual payload to orbit on the new vehicle's second qualification flight.

September

September 23, 1997 September 23, 1997

Ariane performs its 100th launch. Payload is the Intelsat 803 telecommunications satellite.

August

August 8, 1997 August 8, 1997

The Ariane 4 marks its 27th consecutive successful launch - a record for the program.

January

January 30, 1997 January 30, 1997

A new lift performance record is set for Ariane at 4,900 kg. (10,780 lb.) with the U.S. GE-2 and Argentine's Nahuel 1A telecommunications spacecraft.

1996
September

September 10, 1996 September 10, 1996

Arianespace welcomes a new client with Flight 91's successful orbiting of the Echostar 2 telecommunications satellite. Echostar signed for the launch in the first half of the year, and Arianespace was able to provide the rapid launch urgently needed to ensure service continuity.

Read more
Read less
July

July 9, 1996 July 9, 1996

Ariane 4 carries a new, stretched version of the mini-Spelda on Flight 89 with the Turksat 1C and Arabsat 2a satellites.

May

May 15, 1996 May 15, 1996

Flight 86 launches satellites for two new country clients: Indonesia's Palapa C2 and Amos for Israel.

March

March 18, 1996 March 18, 1996

Arianespace is chosen by Alcatel Espace to launch three satellites for WorldSpace, a U.S.-based international digital audio radio provider.

March 14, 1996 March 14, 1996

Arianespace launches its 14th mission in a period of 11.5 months with the V84 flight, which carries the Intelsat 707(A) telecommunications satellite.

January

January 25, 1996 January 25, 1996

Matra Marconi Space selects Arianespace to launch Nilesat – Egypt's first direct broadcast satellite.

1995
December

December 6, 1995 December 6, 1995

Flight 81 with Telecom 2C and Insat 2C is the 11th, and final, launch for 1995 – marking a record number of Ariane missions in one year.

October

October 9, 1995 October 9, 1995

Ariane carries its 100th telecommunications satellite – Luxembourg's Astra 1E spacecraft.

July

July 7, 1995 July 7, 1995

The French-built Helios 1A is the first reconnaissance spacecraft launched by Ariane. Two piggyback payloads – Spain's UPM/Sat 1 and the French Cerise technological satellites – also are carried on the mission.

Read more
Read less
May

May 17, 1995 May 17, 1995

Flight 73 introduces the H10 3 version of Ariane's third stage. The stage provides 30 more seconds of propulsion time and a payload increase of from 60 to 140 kg.

1994
July

July 8, 1994 July 8, 1994

A new payload performance record for Ariane is set on Flight 65, with a combined weight of 4,617 kg. separated into orbit. Satellites for this mission are PanAmSat 2 and BS-3N.

Read more
Read less
1993
November

November 20, 1993 November 20, 1993

Ariane's total combined payload mass placed into orbit surpasses the 150 metric ton mark with Flight 61, which carries the Solidaridad 1 and Meteosat 6 spacecraft.

1992
May

May 18, 1992 May 18, 1992

Arianespace celebrates the signing of its 100th launch contract.

April

April 15, 1992 April 15, 1992

Ariane marks its 50th flight with the launch of an Ariane 44L version with the French Telecom 2B and Inmarsat II-F4 telecommunications satellites. This Ariane also is the first of the P9 batch of 50 launchers ordered by Arianespace.

Read more
Read less
1991
October

October 29, 1991 October 29, 1991

An Ariane 44L version launches the heaviest satellite carried to date by Ariane – the 4,259-kg. (13,969-lb.) Intelsat 6 telecommunications spacecraft on flight V47.

1990
February

February 1, 1990 February 1, 1990

Arianespace capital opened to new European partners (creation of Arianespace Participation).

January

January 22, 1990 January 22, 1990

First flight of an Ariane 40 version of the Ariane 4 family. Payload is the French Spot 2 Earth resources satellite, with four U.S. and two U.K. microsatellites as piggyback payloads on the ASAP auxiliary payload integration structure.

Read more
Read less
Tune in on arianespace.com close