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81st Consecutive Successful Launch Confirms Ariane 5 Payload Record


Kourou, 29 September 2017
  • Ariane 5 matched its commercial payload record set on June 1, once again carrying close to 10 metric tons of payload to geostationary transfer orbit
  • This was the fifth Ariane 5 launch of 2017

In its 81st consecutive success, Ariane 5 matched its previous performance record by placing two telecommunications satellites into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) from the European spaceport in Kourou (French Guiana). The net mass of the payload was 9 958 kg. Therefore, for the second time this year, Ariane 5 ECA has carried more than 100 kg more payload than its previous record set in August 2016.

The total launch performance required of the launcher was 10 838 kg, with the ACU (payload adapters), the SYLDA (Ariane dual launch system) and the LVA 3936 (Launch Vehicle Adaptor).


“This second performance record in 2017 confirms the permanent improvement in Ariane 5’s payload capacity as a result of the experience and know-how of the ArianeGroup teams. In 8 years, we have succeeded in increasing the performance of the Ariane 5 ECA launcher by 1.5 metric ton, and we intend to further boost this performance by 250 kg before 2020.Once again, the people of ArianeGroup and its subsidiary Arianespace have outdone themselves, thus paving the way for the future performance of Ariane 6,” Alain Charmeau, CEO of ArianeGroup, pointed out. “I would also like to express my gratitude to our teams for their talent and their motivation and to thank the European Space Agency and CNES for their continued and unflagging trust and support.”


As the industrial lead contractor for development and operation of the Ariane 5 and Ariane 6 launchers, ArianeGroup coordinates an industrial network of more than 600 companies in 13 European countries, including more than 350 Small and Medium Enterprises. ArianeGroup oversees all the industrial activities, from the performance improvements and studies necessary for Ariane 5 up to its production, the provision of data or software specific to each mission, as well as marketing activities via Arianespace. This chain includes equipment and structures, engines manufacturing, integration of the various stages and finally launcher integration in French Guiana.


The Ariane 239 flight in figures:

  • 95th launch of an Ariane 5
  • 64th launch of an Ariane 5 ECA
  • 18th Ariane 5 launch with ArianeGroup as lead contractor
  • 69th consecutive success by a launcher fitted with a Vulcain® 2 engine and the solid propellant strap-on boosters (EAP)
  • 137th consecutive success by a launcher fitted with the HM7B engine

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About ArianeGroup

ArianeGroup develops and supplies innovative and competitive solutions for civil and military space launchers, with expertise in all aspects of state-of-the-art propulsion technologies. ArianeGroup is lead contractor for Europe’s Ariane 5 and Ariane 6 launcher families, responsible for both design and the entire production chain, up to and including marketing by its Arianespace subsidiary, as well as for the missiles of the French oceanic deterrent force. ArianeGroup and its subsidiaries enjoy a global reputation as specialists in the field of equipment and propulsion for space applications, while their expertise also benefits other industrial sectors. The group is a joint venture equally owned by Airbus and Safran, and employs nearly 9,000 highly qualified staff in France and Germany. Its estimated proforma revenues exceed 3 billion euros.


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