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Final Mission for the Ariane-4 Successful

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the end-on-a-good-note dept.

Space 18

Neophytus writes "The BBC reports that the final mission of the Ariane-4 series of commercial rockets has been completed. First launched in 1988 they have since successfully completed 116 missions, the final lifting the Intelsat 907 communications satellite into geostationary orbit. About 5 launches of the Ariane-5 are planned this year, the first in March."

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Great idea (3, Insightful)

uncoveror (570620) | more than 11 years ago | (#5311603)

So, they are retiring the Ariane-4, which has always worked, and going to the Ariane-5, which is unreliable. Maybe they should just follow NASA's lead and build a giant catapult [uncoveror.com] to launch satellites into space.

Re:Great idea (3, Insightful)

PD (9577) | more than 11 years ago | (#5311940)

Not as bad as the Titan IV. Very expensive, liked to blow up, and they retired it after a ridiculously small number of launches.

It's replaced with that new Delta that can lift the heavy payloads. And Deltas are much nicer.

Re:Great idea (2, Informative)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 11 years ago | (#5313239)

Unreliable? Hardly [astronautix.com] . Unless you include the failed first launch of the Ariane 5 EC-A enhanced version, there was 1 failure in 13 launches, the failure being due to the infamous soft-/hardware integration error [ucl.ac.uk] , which has been fixed.

Re:Great idea (1)

sean23007 (143364) | more than 11 years ago | (#5314548)

1 failure in 13 is not very reliable. Over 100 successful launches is reliable.

Re:Great idea (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 11 years ago | (#5314734)

So make it 0 out of twelve after a bug has been fixed. Is that reliable enough?

Re:Great idea (1)

sean23007 (143364) | more than 11 years ago | (#5316523)

I didn't count the failure of the new heavy lift rocket. That was the second failure in 14 launches of the Ariane 5 rocket. No matter which way you look at it, that is much worse than 116 safe launches.

Re:Great idea (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 11 years ago | (#5315074)

The Ariane did not start out with a wonderful reliability record. I remember once joking that Ariane customers could save millions of dollars by hiring a barge and dumping their satellites into the ocean by themselves. It took a while to get the bugs out of the system. This is normal for any new launch vehicle.

Onwards and upwards (4, Insightful)

pstemari (579210) | more than 11 years ago | (#5311690)

Figures on the website indicate that the Ariane-5 will roughly double the payload to geosynch orbit. A rather nice feat for a program with a good history of success. Reliability should improve with more launches.

Am I the only one who think it looks like a Titan-III knockoff, though?

Re:Onwards and upwards (1)

Jon Chatow (25684) | more than 11 years ago | (#5313589)

You know, there's a limit to the extent that rockets capable of taking reasonably large masses into orbit can differ without being sub-optimal ;-). But I do see what you mean...

Re:Onwards and upwards (1)

Jon Chatow (25684) | more than 11 years ago | (#5313645)

For reference: the Titan III that took Mars 1 into space [nasda.go.jp] vs. the BBC's picture of the Arianne 4 [bbc.co.uk] . I think the Arianne 4 has 4 SRBs, not 2, though.

Re:Onwards and upwards (1)

pstemari (579210) | more than 11 years ago | (#5314302)

No, I meant the Ariane 5 [arianespace.com] looked like a Titan III knockoff.

Depending on the exact configuration, the Ariane 4 can have up to four solid-fuel strap-ons. The AR40 has none, the AR42P has two solid-fuel strap-ons, and the AR44P has four. It can also use liquid fuel strap-ons, alone or in conjunction with solid fuel strap-ons, giving the AR42L (two liquid), AR44LP (two of each), and AR44L (four liquid). It's really an amazing amount of flexibility.

Is it true . . . (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5311923)

That instead of dogs and chimps the French use cheese-eating surrender monkeys ? That the Ariane's budget has been cut because the French discovered there are no truffles on the moon ? That the French space program is spending 12 million euro to reverse engineer the purpose of the Space Station's weightless shower ? That the French manned missions will take along an Algerian and a Romanian Gypsy so the Franconauts can have someone spit on and feel at home ?

Re:Is it true . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5314142)

Hehe... "surrender monkeys". I like that.

Especially since they have done it again. This time they already surrendered even before the war with Iraq began.

Name dropping! (0, Offtopic)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 11 years ago | (#5312410)

Slightly OT here, but I know one of the people who designed Intelsat's propulsion systems. /me says goodbye to his karma.

Re:Name dropping! (1)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 11 years ago | (#5312746)


Re:Name dropping! (1)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 11 years ago | (#5312939)

I resent that sarcastic comment, and will be sending my lawyers round to VA in the morning, to demand that the comment is immediatly removed from /. and all it's mirrors.

I will not tolerate this slander!

Oh yeah? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5315199)

My girlfriend's cousin went to school with Dark Angel's Jessica Alba. Apparently she was not very nice and obsessed with her appearence.

Fuck this shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5314136)

It's sunday and I'm at work.

I had to work yesterday too.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

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