DAVID DUCROS FOR ESA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID DUCROS FOR ESA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ariane 5 launch. Composite image depicting the launch of an Ariane 5 rocket at Kourou, French Guiana. The rocket has just cleared the launch tower (hidden behind smoke) and the four lightning rods (red-topped towers). Smoke and steam pours out of the site's flame trenches. The smoke is from the two large solid rocket boosters on either side of the rocket, while the steam comes from tons of cooling water sprayed around the launch pad. Europe's Ariane 5 will be used mainly for satellite launches, although it is capable of carrying a variety of other spacecraft. The first launch of an Ariane 5 is set for mid-1996.
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