Encyclopedia Astronautica
Ariane 4



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Ariane 40 V44
Ariane 40 V44 - COSPAR 1991-050
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Ariane 4
Credit: © Mark Wade
French orbital launch vehicle. The ultimate Ariane development. Compared with the Ariane 2/3, the Ariane 4 featured stretched first (61%) and third stages, a strengthened structure, new propulsion bay layouts, new avionics, and the Spelda dual-payload carrier. The basic 40 version used no strap-on motors, while the Ariane 42L, 44L, 42P, 44P, and 44LP versions used varous combinations of solid and liquid propellant strap-on motors). Development was authorised in January 1982, with the objective of increasing payload by 90%. Total development cost 476 million 1986 ECU's.

LEO Payload: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb) to a 200 km orbit at 5.20 degrees. Payload: 2,175 kg (4,795 lb) to a GTO, 7 deg. Launch Price $: 85.000 million in 2000 dollars.

Stage Data - Ariane 4

  • Stage 1. 1 x Ariane 4-1. Gross Mass: 245,900 kg (542,100 lb). Empty Mass: 17,900 kg (39,400 lb). Thrust (vac): 3,034.100 kN (682,093 lbf). Isp: 278 sec. Burn time: 205 sec. Isp(sl): 248 sec. Diameter: 3.80 m (12.40 ft). Span: 8.30 m (27.20 ft). Length: 23.60 m (77.40 ft). Propellants: N2O4/UDMH. No Engines: 4. Engine: Viking 2B. Other designations: L-220. Status: In Production.
  • Stage 2. 1 x Ariane 2-2. Gross Mass: 37,130 kg (81,850 lb). Empty Mass: 3,625 kg (7,991 lb). Thrust (vac): 804.998 kN (180,971 lbf). Isp: 296 sec. Burn time: 125 sec. Isp(sl): 210 sec. Diameter: 2.60 m (8.50 ft). Span: 2.60 m (8.50 ft). Length: 11.50 m (37.70 ft). Propellants: N2O4/UDMH. No Engines: 1. Engine: Viking 4B. Other designations: L-33B. Status: In Production.
  • Stage 3. 1 x Ariane 4-3. Gross Mass: 12,310 kg (27,130 lb). Empty Mass: 1,570 kg (3,460 lb). Thrust (vac): 62.703 kN (14,096 lbf). Isp: 446 sec. Burn time: 759 sec. Isp(sl): 0.0000 sec. Diameter: 2.66 m (8.72 ft). Span: 2.66 m (8.72 ft). Length: 11.85 m (38.87 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 1. Engine: HM7-B. Other designations: H-10-3. Status: In Production.

Status: Out of production.
Gross mass: 240,000 kg (520,000 lb).
Payload: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb).
Height: 58.40 m (191.60 ft).
Diameter: 3.80 m (12.40 ft).
Thrust: 2,706.70 kN (608,490 lbf).
Apogee: 200 km (120 mi).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Oscar International series of amateur radio communications satellites. Operational, first launch 1961.12.12. Launched in a variety of configurations and by many nations. More...
  • MicroSat SSTL British technology satellite. 3 launches, 1981.10.06 (CERISE) to 1990.01.22 (Oscar 14). Original version of the Surrey Microsat bus. More...
  • SPOT-1-2-3 French earth land resources satellite. 3 launches, 1986.02.22 (SPOT 1) to 1993.09.26 (SPOT 3). SPOT was the French government-sponsored civil earth observation program, with support from Belgium and Sweden. More...
  • Multi-Role Recovery Capsule British manned spacecraft. Study 1987. Britain was the only European Space Agency member opposed to ESA's ambitious man-in-space plan, and the British conservative government refused to approve the November 1987 plan. More...
  • ERS 1-2 European earth resources radar satellite. 2 launches, 1991.07.17 (ERS 1) to 1995.04.21 (ERS 2). The primary mission of Europe's ERS-1 and -2 was to perform remote sensing of the Earth's oceans, ice caps, and coastal regions. More...
  • SARA French radio astronomy satellite. One launch, 1991.07.17. Radioastronomy. More...
  • Tubsat German communications technology satellite. 7 launches, 1991.07.17 (Tubsat-A) to 2007.01.10 (Maroc-Tubsat). Germany's Technical University of Berlin (TUB) built a successful series of 40 kg 'Tubsat' experimental technology satellites. More...
  • Orbcomm American communications technology satellite. 31 launches, 1991.07.17 (Orbcomm-X) to 2008.06.19 (Orbcomm FM36). Orbcomm was a commercial venture to provide global messaging services using a constellation of 26 low-Earth orbiting satellites. More...
  • STELLA French earth geodetic satellite. One launch, 1993.09.26. Laser reflectors. More...
  • Helios 1A-1B French military surveillance satellite. 2 launches, 1995.07.07 (Helios 1A) to 1999.12.03 (Helios 1B). Helios 1A an 1B were advanced French military surveillance satellites which were widely believed to have 1 meter resolution capability. More...
  • LBSAT Spanish communications technology satellite. One launch, 1995.07.07, UPM/LBSAT 1. Universidad Politecnia de Madrid Satellite; experimental communications, microgravity experiments. More...
  • SPOT-4 French earth land resources satellite. One launch, 1998.03.24, SPOT 4. SPOT was the French government-sponsored civil earth observation program. A single SPOT satellite provides complete coverage of the Earth every 26 days. More...

Associated Engines
  • HM7-B SEP, Ottobrunn lox/lh2 rocket engine. 70 kN. Isp=447s. Increased performance version of the HM-7 engine for the Ariane 2 and 3. Combustion chamber pressure raised from 30 to 35 bar and nozzle extended. First flight 1984. More...
  • Viking 2B SEP N2O4/UDMH rocket engine. 720 kN. Isp=278s. Used on Ariane 2/3. First flight 1984. More...
  • Viking 4B SEP N2O4/UDMH rocket engine. 805 kN. Isp=296s. Used on Ariane 4. First flight 1984. More...

See also
  • Ariane First successful European commercial launch vehicle, developed from L3S Europa launch vehicle replacement design. Development of the Ariane 1 was authorised in July 1973, took eight years, and cost 2 billion 1986 Euros. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies

Ariane 4 Chronology


1982 January - . LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 4.
  • Development of Ariane 4 launch vehicle authorised. - . Nation: France. Summary: The objective of was an increase in payload of 90%. Total development cost 476 million 1986 ECU's..

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