PATRICK LANDMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PATRICK LANDMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Advanced atmospheric reentry demonstrator (ARD). Technician inspecting the ARD heat shields. In October 1998, this test vehicle was successfully launched into orbit on the third Ariane 5 flight. The test was required to prove that Ariane 5 was safe following the failure of the first Ariane 5 launch on 4th June 1996. The ARD reached an altitude of 830 kilometres before re-entering Earth and landing in the Pacific Ocean.
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