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The development started in 1973 by ESA. It took 8 years and 2 billion Euros to build Ariane 1. Finally, Christmas Eve, 1979, Ariane 1 proved to be worth the time and money that invested. No (significant) problems occurred, and the launch from Kourou was successful.

Ariane 1 was originally designed to be able to put two satellites at a time into orbit (to reduce cost). Ariane 1 was the first launch vehicle of the Ariane-series, where the newest design is Ariane 5. Ariane 1 was also first successful European commercial launch vehicle.

As satellites grew bigger, Ariane 1 was not big enough anymore. This led to the construction of Ariane 2 and Ariane 3. Altogether 11* launches took place in the years 1979 through 1986. The 22nd of February 1986 would be the last launch of an Ariane 1 vehicle. After that it was retired, since New Ariane-designs had taken over its place.

*2 of these launches failed.


Technical Information::
Height: 47,4 m
Diameter: 3,8 m
Launch Prize: 32.000.000 USD (1985)
Weight: 207,2 tonnes
Liftoff Mass: 210 tonnes
Maximum Payload: 1,83 tonnes


Ariane 1 consists of 4 stages:

Stage 1:
Length: 18,4 m
Gross Mass: 160.030 Kg
Empty Mass: 13.750 Kg
Thrust: 282.660 kgf.
Burn time: 145 sec

Stage 2:
Length: 11.50 m
Gross Mass: 37.130 kg.
Empty Mass: 3.625 kg
Thrust: 73.518 kgf
Burn time: 132 sec

Stage 3:
Length: 10.23 m
Gross Mass: 9.687 kg
Empty Mass: 1.457 kg
Thrust: 6.289 kgf
Burn Time: 563 sec

Stage 4:
Length: 1.13 m
Gross Mass: 369 kg
Empty Mass: 34 kg
Thrust: 1.978 kgf
Burn time: 50 sec


Ariane 1 launch dates:
  1. 1979 Dec 24 17:14
  2. 1980 May 23 14:29 (Failure)
  3. 1981 Jun 19 12:32
  4. 1981 Dec 20 01:29
  5. 1982 Sep 09 02:12 (Failure)
  6. 1983 Jun 16 11:59
  7. 1983 Oct 19 00:45
  8. 1984 Mar 05 00:50
  9. 1984 May 23 01:33
  10. 1985 Jul 02 11:23*
  11. 1986 Feb 22 01:44
*This time Ariane 1 carried Giotto into orbit, which later would photograph Halley's Comet.


Sources:
  • ESA web-site
  • Arianespace.com
  • My local library.