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Ariane 5 tops its payload record with the 72nd consecutive successful launch


Kourou, June 18th, 2016
  • With Airbus Safran Launchers as industrial lead contractor , Ariane 5 has just concluded  its 72nd consecutive successful launch and beaten its own commercial  performance record by carrying a payload of more than 10.7 tonnes to geostationary transfer orbit 


The 230th Ariane 5 launcher lifted off from the European spaceport in Kourou (French Guiana) and exceeded its payload record by successfully placing two telecommunications satellites in geostationary transfer orbit.

The launch performance represented 10,730 kg (of which 9840 kg were the weight of the satellites), representing an increase of 337 kg over the previous record on February 7, 2013.

This was the 9th Ariane 5 launch with Airbus Safran Launchers as lead contractor and with the support of the parent companies: Airbus Group and Safran.

"This new commercial payload record demonstrates the success of the steps taken by the Airbus Safran Launchers teams and the parent companies to constantly improve the performance and competitiveness of Ariane 5", Alain Charmeau, CEO of Airbus Safran Launchers pointed out. "This launch confirmed the reliability and performance of Ariane 5 in order to meet the needs of Arianespace and its customers, whom I wish to thank, along with ESA and CNES, for their confidence and support."

Airbus Safran Launchers has been the prime contractor for the Ariane 5 European launcher, one of the largest and most ambitious space programmes in the world, since January 2015. Building on the expertise of the Airbus and Safran groups, the company oversees an industrial network that brings together more than 550 companies (more than 100 of which are SMEs) in 12 European countries. Airbus Safran Launchers manages the entire industrial supply chain, which ranges from production of the launcher to its final configuration for supply of the mission's flight software. This chain includes the equipment and structures, manufacture of the engines, stage integration and then complete integration of the launcher in Guiana. Representing cutting-edge European expertise, the Ariane 5 launcher's flexibility is clearly demonstrated by its ability to inject heavy payloads into low Earth orbit, or 2 satellites into geostationary transfer orbit, or a single satellite with optimised lifetime, or several satellites into medium Earth orbit (MEO).

Airbus Safran Launchers is also the prime contractor for the future European launcher Ariane 6, whose maiden flight is scheduled for 2020. It will replace Ariane 5 in about 2023, proposing an expanded flight envelope and a wider range of missions for a significantly lower price.


Ariane flight 230 in numbers

  • 230th Ariane launch
  • 86th Ariane 5 launch and 56th Ariane 5 ECA
  • 60th consecutive success of launcher using  a Vulcain® 2 engine 

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