Overview | Ariane 1-3 | Ariane 4 | Milestones

Ariane heritage > Ariane 4

The Ariane 4 family was the workhorse of the commercial launch services industry during its service career from 1988 to 2003.

Using a "building block" approach, six Ariane versions were available – all of which were based on the same core three-stage vehicle.

Ariane 4 was the result of Europe's accurate forecasting of the future growth of satellite payload weight and size. To meet the predicted market needs, the flexible family approach was adopted.

The Ariane 4 family's payload lift performance to geostationary transfer orbit ranged from 2,000 kg. to 4,900 kg.

The Spaceport's ELA-2 launch complex supported the Ariane 4 vehicle family's fast-paced launch schedule from its service entry in 1986 through the final Ariane 4 mission in 2003.

The complex consised of two areas: the launcher preparation zone and the launch zone. These two areas were separated, allowing one launcher to undergo final checkout and payload integration in the launch zone while a second was being assembled in the launcher preparation zone.

ELA-2 was designed for approximately 10-11 launches per year with an interval of one month between successive missions. To meet commercial demand, Arianespace maintained a high operational mission rate throughout the Ariane 4 program.


At a Glance

At a glance

Launcher type

Configuration

Number of launches
(% of launches)

Maximum mass orbited
(Flight # and payload)

Ariane 40

Baseline version

7 (6%)

2,800 kg.
(Flight 107 - Spot 4)

Ariane 42P

Two solid strap-on boosters

15 (13%)

3,063 kg.
(Flight 57 - Galaxy 4)

Ariane 44P

Four solid strap-on boosters

15 (13%)

3,577 kg.
(Flight 137 - Eurasiasat 1)

Ariane 42L

Two liquid strap-on boosters

13 (11%)

3,572 kg.
(Flight 133 - N-Star 110)

Ariane 44LP

Two solid + two liquid boosters

26 (22%)

4,330 kg.
(Flight 95 - Thaicom3 + B-SAT1a)

Ariane 44L

Four liquid strap-on boosters

40 (35%)

4,947 kg.
(Flight 113 - AfriStar + GE 5)

 

Payloads

Heritage Family Payloads

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