Encyclopedia Astronautica
Ariane 5ES


Version of the Ariane 5 designed to orbit ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) resupply vehicle for the International Space Station.

The booster inserted the ATV into a 260 km circular low Earth orbit inclined to 51.6. From this orbit the ATV used its own propulsion system to automatically rendezvous and dock with the International Space Station.

The first two stages (EAP solid rocket boosters and EPC Vulcain 2-powered cryogenic main stage) were essentially the same as the Ariane 5 ECA. The difference was in the upper stage, composed of a new reinforced vehicle equipment bay (VEB) to withstand flight loads with the ATV and a restartable storable propulsion stage (EPS). The first EPS burn took place immediately following the separation of the EPC. After EPS engine cut-off and the VEB-EPS-ATV stack coasted for 45 minutes to an apogee of 260 km, at which time a second EPS burn placed the stack in a circular orbit. The ATV then separated and used its own engines to head for the ISS. Meanwhile the EPS made a third burn to place the nearly empty VEB-EPS on course for a destructive re-entry into the earth's atmosphere over the ocean.

Status: Active.
Gross mass: 760,000 kg (1,670,000 lb).
Payload: 21,000 kg (46,000 lb).
Height: 53.00 m (173.00 ft).
Diameter: 5.40 m (17.70 ft).
Thrust: 15,360.00 kN (3,453,060 lbf).
First Launch: 2008.03.09.
Last Launch: 2011.02.16.
Number: 2 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Spacecraft
  • ATV European logistics spacecraft and space tug. The Automated Transfer Vehicle was first proposed in the mid-1980s as a way to transport unmanned cargo to a Space Station. Operational in that role, first launch 2008.03.09. Studies for a manned version with a re-entry capsule conducted, but no funding for development. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • EADS French manufacturer of rockets. EADS, France. More...

Associated Programs
  • ISS Finally completed in 2010 after a torturous 25-year development and production process, the International Space Station was originally conceived as the staging post for manned exploration of the solar systrem. Instead, it was seemed to be the death knell of manned spaceflight. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Kourou After the agreement with newly independent Algeria for France to evacuate their launch sites in that country, a location near Biscarosse was selected for French missile testing. However since only launches westwards across the Bay of Biscay could be made from this site, it was unsuitable for France's Diamant orbital launch vehicle. After reviewing 14 potential sites, a location in the South American French colony of Guiana was selected. This would allow over-water launches to a tremendous range of possible orbital inclinations -- from -100.5 deg to 1.5 deg. Being near the equator, it would provide the maximum assist from the earth's rotation for launches into equatorial orbits. The decision was formalized in April 1964 and in July 1966 ELDO chose the site for future launches of the Europa II launch vehicle. More...

Associated Stages
  • Ariane 5 EAP Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 278,330/38,200 kg. Thrust 6,470.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 275 seconds. Increased propellant loading (+2.43 tonnes), lighter welded case (-1.6 tonnes) compared to earlier versions. More...
  • Ariane 5 EPC Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 186,000/12,700 kg. Thrust 1,114.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 434 seconds. 15.2 tonnes increased propellant by moving liquid oxygen bulkhead. More...
  • Ariane 5 ESC B Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 27,500/3,400 kg. Thrust 153.90 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 467 seconds. New upper stage for Ariane 5. More...

Ariane 5ES Chronology


2008 March 9 - . 04:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5ES.
  • Jules Verne ATV - . Mass: 19,012 kg (41,914 lb). Nation: France. Agency: Arianespace. Program: ISS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Spacecraft: ATV. Duration: 204.39 days. Decay Date: 2008-09-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 32686 . COSPAR: 2008-008A. Apogee: 343 km (213 mi). Perigee: 336 km (208 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.30 min. First launch of Europe's Automated Transfer Vehicle, a logistics vehicle designed for ISS resupply. The Ariane model 5ES launch vehicle, vehicle L528, had the enhanced EAP solid boosters and EPC core stage of the Ariane 5ECA, but with the new EPS-V upper stage with restart capability and a vehicle equipment bay instrument unit strengthened to carry the heavier LEO payload. Jules Verne carried 1300 kg of dry cargo, 302 kg of water and oxygen, and 860 kg of propellant to the ISS. For this test mission it had a dry mass of 10075 kg and 6475 kg of maneuvering propellant (in later missions the propellant could be thousands of kilograms less, in order to deliver more cargo).

    The EPS stage made its first burn and placed the stack into a 137 km x 260 km orbit at 04:20 GMT. The EPS restarted at 05:05, burned for 30-seconds, and released the ATV into a 254 km x 272 km orbit.

    Following extensive checkouts and maneuvering near the ISS, ATV Jules Verne docked at the aft end of ISS Zvezda module at 14:52 GMT on 3 April. While docked to the station, it was used several times to boost the station's orbit and to shift it in debris avoidance maneuvers. The ATV undocked from the ISS on 5 September and used a fuel-conserving 23 days to position itself for a safe re-entry over the South Pacific. Final destructive re-entry began at 13:30 GMT on 29 September.


2011 February 16 - . 21:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5ES.
  • Johannes Kepler ATV 2 - . Payload: ATV 2. Mass: 19,712 kg (43,457 lb). Nation: Europe. Program: ISS. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: ISS EO-26; ISS EO-25. Spacecraft: ATV. Duration: 125.00 days. Decay Date: 2011-06-21 . USAF Sat Cat: 37368 . COSPAR: 2011-007A. Apogee: 347 km (215 mi). Perigee: 343 km (213 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 91.40 min. Summary: ISS resupply; second European Space Agency Automated Transfer Vehicle. Docked with the ISS Zvezda module on 25 February. Undocked on 21 June at 14:46 GMT. Retrofire the same day at 20:04 GMT sent it to burn up over the Pacific Ocean..

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