DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ariane 5. Artist's impression of an Ariane 5 rocket high over the Earth during launch. The two booster rockets have just been jettisoned from the main body. The boosters are jettisoned from the main body 129 seconds after takeoff when their fuel supply becomes exhausted. They fall 55 kilometres to Earth and are recovered for re-use. The boosters each use about 237 tonnes of solid propellant whilst the Vulcain motor in the main body burns liquid fuel. The Ariane 5 design was developed and built in Europe. It is used mainly for satellite launches, although the rocket is capable of carrying a variety of other spacecraft for space exploration.
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