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Ariane 4

Ariane 4 was an expendable launch system, designed by the European Space Agency and manufactured by the French company Arianespace.

The development program began in 1983 and the first successful launch was on June 15, 1988. The system has become the basis for European satellite launch with 104 successful missions and only three launcher failures. The Ariane 4 provided a payload increase from 1700 kg for the Ariane 3 to a maximum of 4800 kg to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO, the record for a Ariane 4 to GTO was 4946 kg).

The rocket was used in a number of variants, it could be fitted with two or four additional solid or liquid fuelled booster rockets. The launcher included a satellite payload carrier system called Spelda (Structure Porteuse Externe pour Lancements Doubles Ariane) for launching more than one satellite at a time.

The Ariane 4 AR 40 was the basic version, with three stages, 58.4 metres high, a diameter of 3.8 metres, a liftoff mass of 245 tonnes and a maximum payload of 2100 kg to GTO or 5000kg to Low Earth orbit (LEO). Main power was from four Viking 5 motors each producing 667 kN of thrust, the second stage had a single Viking motor and the third stage had a HM7 liquid oxygen/liquid helium motor. The AR 44L with maximimum additional boost of four solid fuel rocket strap-ons was four stage, weighed 470 tonnes and could transfer a payload of 4730 kg to GTO or 7600 kg to LEO.

ModelLaunchesSuccessesFailure date
AR 40
AR 42L
AR 42P
December 1, 1994
AR 44L
February 22, 1990
January 24, 1994
AR 44P

The Ariane 4 have accomplish more than 100 flights with a succes rate of more than 96%.

The Ariane 4 was phased out in favour of the Ariane 5 which can carry heavier payload. The final launch was on February 15, 2003, placing Intelsat 907 into geosynchronous orbit.

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