DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ariane 5. Artwork showing an overall view (left) and cut-away view (right) of the European Ariane 5 launcher. Ariane 5 consists of a large first stage (lower 2/3rds of the central vehicle) flanked by two solid rocket boosters, with a smaller second stage (top 1/3rd). Most of the first stage is taken up by the vast liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen tanks, which feed the single Vulcain motor at bottom. The second stage is powered by a DASA engine powered by storable propellants (dinitrogen tetroxide and monomethyl hydrazine). The payload depicted here is the Cluster mission with its four identical spacecraft. The first Ariane 5 mission, carrying Cluster, is due for launch in mid-1996.
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