DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ariane 1-4 rockets, artwork. From left to right the rockets are the Ariane 1, Ariane 2, Ariane 3, and Ariane 4. The Ariane program is a series of launch vehicles used by the European Space Agency and the French space agency (CNES) to place satellites and other heavy payloads in Earth orbit. The launches are handled by CNES subsidiary Arianespace. The current rocket used (as of 2011) is the Ariane 5, with four earlier Ariane rockets shown here. Ariane 1 had 11 launches from 1979 to 1986. Ariane 2 had 6 launches from 1986 to 1989. Ariane 3 had 11 launches from 1984 to 1989. Ariane 4 had 116 launches from 1988 to 2003.
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