PATRICK LANDMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PATRICK LANDMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ariane 5 launch, Guiana Space Centre, Kourou, French Guiana. Ariane 5 is an expendable (single use) launch system designed to deliver payloads into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) or Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Ariane 5 is 51 metres high and the primary launch craft for the European Space Agency (ESA). It exploded on its first test flight, on 4th June 1996. Subsequent test flights were succsseful and its first commercial launch was on 10th December 1999 delivering the XMM-Newton observatory satellite.
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