Ariane 5 Milestones
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.

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October

October 21, 1999 October 21, 1999

Ariane 5 is ready for operational service after the mission success on its third qualification flight. The launcher carries the Atmospheric Reentry Demonstrator and Maqsat 3 payloads.

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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.

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March

March 30, 1999 March 30, 1999

Launch campaign begins for Flight 504 – Arianespace's first Ariane 5 commercial flight.

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1997
November

November 25, 1997 November 25, 1997

An agreement officially transferring the management, maintenance and operation of Ariane 5's ELA3 launch facility from the European Space Agency to Arianespace.

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October

October 30, 1997 October 30, 1997

Ariane 5's second test flight succeeds.

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1996
June

June 4, 1996 June 4, 1996

The Ariane 5 501 test flight fails.

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February

February 27, 1996 February 27, 1996

Acceptance of the Vulcain engine for the first Ariane 5 flight (the 501 mission).

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1995
October

October 18, 1995 October 18, 1995

The ESA Council meets at the ministerial level in Toulouse, France. Go-ahead is given for the Ariane 5 evolution program that will increase the launcher's lift capability to geostationary transfer orbit to 7,400 kg. (16,309 lb.) in a dual- launch configuration by the year 2003. The meeting also approves the ATRA 5 technology program for Ariane 5, as well as the Ariane 5 infrastructure program to maintain and improve production and launch facilities.

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June

June 12, 1995 June 12, 1995

Arianespace places order with industry for 14 Ariane 5s.

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June 1, 1995 June 1, 1995

First development test of a complete Ariane 5 cryogenic stage.

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March

March 19, 1995 March 19, 1995

First qualification static test firing of an Ariane 5 solid booster.

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1994
November

November 17, 1994 November 17, 1994

First test firing of a Vulcain main engine installed on the battleship test stand.

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October

October 5, 1994 October 5, 1994

Static test firing of the Aestus upper stage engine for 1,075 sec.

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February

February 9, 1994 February 9, 1994

Ariane 5's critical design review completed.

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1993
June

June 25, 1993 June 25, 1993

First test static firing of the solid rocket booster using the nominal motor structure.

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February

February 18, 1993 February 18, 1993

Dynamic testing begins on the main cryogenic stage for Ariane.

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February 16, 1993 February 16, 1993

First full-scale test firing of Ariane 5's full-scale solid booster at the Guiana Space Center. The static test uses a booster with reinforced "battleship" structure.

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1991
October

October 24, 1991 October 24, 1991

The solid propellant production facility for Ariane 5's solid rocket motors opens at the Guiana Space Center.

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1990
July

July 9, 1990 July 9, 1990

First test firing of a Vulcain cryogenic main engine at Vernon, France.

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