Ariane (rocket)

Ariane (rocket)

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The Ariane They are a family of European-made rocket launchers. They were initially built by the European Space Agency (ESA) in order to free itself from the dependence of the United States in the field of astronautics.

The first launch of an Ariane rocket was carried out on December 24, 1979. It was a three-stage launcher, 47 m high and able to satellite, in geostationary orbit, a load of 2,580 kg.

In 1980 the construction and commercialization of the rockets of this series was transferred to the Arianespace company, of which France is a majority shareholder. The launches are held at the base of Kourou, in French Guiana.

The original Ariane rocket has three sections, 47 meters high and weighs 210 tons. During the ascent, and as each section is consumed, these are separated from the conveyor by means of a series of explosive charges and retro-rocket placed at the bottom of the first and second section.

In the third section or main section the control elements and the cargo hold are housed, both protected by the aerodynamic rocket shield. This shield is formed by two half shells of aluminum, protecting what is inside while the flight lasts through the atmosphere, and is separated from the rest of the rocket when the second section also does, approximately 120 kilometers high .

Before being declared operational, the rocket carried out a series of test flights in which the behavior of each of its components was checked.

The demand for rockets capable of transporting more and more cargo forced the Agency to design a global strategy that would allow it to meet such demand. While maintaining the flights with the improved versions 2 and 3, another improvement was being carried out, which would lead to the Ariane-4, while the studies and research for the construction of a new rocket, the Ariane-5, began.

The Ariane-5 is designed to carry a single load of a single large satellite or a multiple load of several of them. The structure where the load is housed is located in the upper part of the conveyor, has a cylindrical shape of 5.66 meters high, an internal diameter of 4.57 meters and is topped at the top by a truncated cone-shaped structure , which allows to connect another similar structure that contains another satellite. The capacity of this device varies between 3 and 4.5 metric tons. There is another type of structure where the load can be placed, although it is somewhat lower capacity, and once the rocket is located at the precise height it is broken down is two halves, leaving the load in space.

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Arecibo (Astronomical Observatory)Ariel (satellites)