Encyclopedia Astronautica
Ariane 5GS


French orbital launch vehicle.

LEO Payload: 6,200 kg (13,600 lb).

Status: Active.
Gross mass: 746,000 kg (1,644,000 lb).
Payload: 6,200 kg (13,600 lb).
Height: 45.70 m (149.90 ft).
Diameter: 5.40 m (17.70 ft).
Thrust: 10,000.00 kN (2,248,000 lbf).
First Launch: 2005.08.11.
Last Launch: 2009.12.18.
Number: 6 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • FS-1300 American communications satellite bus. Operational, first launch 1989.06.05. More...
  • Star bus American communications satellite bus. Operational, first launch 1997.11.12 (Cakrawarta 1). The Orbital Star bus was designed for reliable and robust performance in a variety of LEO and GEO missions. More...
  • Insat 3 Indian communications satellite bus. Operational, first launch 2000.03.21. The multipurpose satellite design provided telecommunications, television broadcasting, meteorological and search and rescue services. More...
  • SPOT-5A-5B French earth land resources satellite. Two launches, 2002.05.04, 2009.12.18. SPOT was the French government sponsored civil Earth observation program. A single SPOT satellite provided complete coverage of the Earth every 26 days. More...
  • MSG European earth weather satellite. 2 launches, 2002.08.28 (MSG 1) and 2005.12.21 (MSG 2). MSG (Meteosat Second Generation 1) was a European (EUMETSAT consortium) geostationary weather satellite. More...
  • Spacebus 4000 European communications satellite bus. Operational, first launch 2005.02.03. The Spacebus 4000 represented a new larger platform to meet customer demand. More...
  • 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...

See also
  • Ariane 5 The Ariane 5 was a completely new design, unrelated to the earlier Ariane 1 to 4. It consisted of a single-engine Lox/LH2 core stage flanked by two solid rocket boosters. Preparatory work began in 1984. Full scale development began in 1988 and cost $ 8 billion. The design was sized for the Hermes manned spaceplane, later cancelled. This resulted in the booster being a bit too large for the main commercial payload, geosynchronous communications satellites. As a result, development of an uprated version capable of launching two such satellites at a time was funded in 2000. More...

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

Associated Programs
  • Insat Insat (Indian National Satellite System) was a multipurpose satellite system for telecommunications, broadcasting, meteorology and search and rescue services. More...
  • Intelsat Intelsat operated the world's first commercial communications satellite. It has provided the scheduled transoceanic television and voice and data communications service ever since. 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 5-0 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 277,500/39,800 kg. Thrust 6,470.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 275 seconds. Solid rocket booster for Ariane 5. Nozzle expansion ratio increased from 9.7 to 11.0 after 1997. Chamber pressure 61.3 bar. HTPB propellant. More...
  • Ariane 5-2 N2O4/MMH propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 12,500/2,700 kg. Thrust 27.40 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 324 seconds. Storable propellant, restartable upper stage for use with Ariane 5. Chamber pressure 10 bar; expansion ratio 83.0; propellant mix ratio 2.05. Empty mass without VEB payload fairing support ring and avionics is 1200 kg. More...
  • Ariane H155 Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 170,800/12,700 kg. Thrust 1,114.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 430 seconds. Chamber pressure 108 bar; expansion ratio 45.0; propellant mix ratio 5.3. More...

Ariane 5GS Chronology


2005 August 11 - . 08:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5GS. LV Configuration: Ariane 5GS V166 (523).
  • Ipstar 1 - . Payload: Thaicom 4, LS-1300SX. Mass: 6,486 kg (14,299 lb). Nation: Thailand. Agency: Shinawat. Manufacturer: Palo Alto. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: FS-1300. USAF Sat Cat: 28786 . COSPAR: 2005-028A. Apogee: 35,797 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,777 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Ariane 5GS version maiden flight. Launch delayed from July 8 and 11, 2005. Heaviest geosynchronous transfer orbit payload to date. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 119.46E drifting at 0.009W degrees per day..

2005 October 13 - . 22:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5GS. LV Configuration: Ariane 5GS V168 (524).
  • Galaxy 15 - . Mass: 2,033 kg (4,481 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: PanAmSat. Manufacturer: OSC. Program: Galaxy. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Star bus. USAF Sat Cat: 28884 . COSPAR: 2005-041A. Apogee: 35,796 km (22,242 mi). Perigee: 35,776 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Slated to provide satellite television services to the United States market. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 132.99W drifting at 0.009W degrees per day..
  • Syracuse 3A - . Payload: Spacebus 4000B3. Mass: 3,725 kg (8,212 lb). Nation: France. Agency: DGA. Manufacturer: Alenia. Program: Syracuse. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Spacebus 4000. USAF Sat Cat: 28885 . COSPAR: 2005-041B. Apogee: 35,803 km (22,246 mi). Perigee: 35,771 km (22,227 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Syracuse 3A French military communications satellite. Launch delayed from mid-February, March 15, April 14, May 31, 2005. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 47.00E drifting at 0.010E degrees per day..

2005 December 21 - . 22:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5GS. LV Configuration: Ariane 5GS V169 (525).
  • Insat 4A - . Mass: 3,081 kg (6,792 lb). Nation: India. Agency: ISRO. Program: Insat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Insat 3. USAF Sat Cat: 28911 . COSPAR: 2005-049A. Apogee: 35,798 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,775 km (22,229 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Delayed from late July 2005. Launch delayed from August 23, October, November 14 and 30, December 8, 16 and 20. Dry mass 1385 kg. The satellite was equipped with Ku-band and C-band transponders and would join other Insats in providing telecommunications and television services to the Indian subcontinent. After three engine burns the satellite reached geostationary altitude over the Indian Ocean at 04:30 GMT on 26 December, then deployed its solar arrays. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 83.00E drifting at 0.006W degrees per day.
  • MSG 2 - . Mass: 2,034 kg (4,484 lb). Nation: Europe. Agency: Eumetsat. Manufacturer: Alenia. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: MSG. USAF Sat Cat: 28912 . COSPAR: 2005-049B. Apogee: 35,793 km (22,240 mi). Perigee: 35,779 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 1.5000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Delayed from mid-February, March 15, June 2005. Meteosat Second Generation spin-stabilized weather satellite. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 0.11W drifting at 0.024W degrees per day..

2007 October 5 - . 22:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5GS. LV Configuration: Ariane 5GS V178 (526).
  • Optus D-2 - . Mass: 2,400 kg (5,200 lb). Nation: Australia. Agency: Optus. Manufacturer: OSC. Program: Aussat. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Star bus. USAF Sat Cat: 32252 . COSPAR: 2007-044A. Apogee: 35,889 km (22,300 mi). Perigee: 35,862 km (22,283 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,440.70 min. Ku-band satellite designed to deliver television, internet, communications, and data services to Australia and New Zealand. After deployment of the two satellites, the EPS third stage made a brief burn at 23:28 GMT to make the first in-flight test the Aestus engine's restart capability. This was to be used in 2008 in the first launch of the ATV ISS resupply spacecraft.
  • Intelsat IS-11 - . Mass: 2,400 kg (5,200 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Intelsat. Manufacturer: OSC. Program: Intelsat. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Star bus. USAF Sat Cat: 32253 . COSPAR: 2007-044B. Apogee: 35,797 km (22,243 mi). Perigee: 35,778 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: C and Ku-band satellite designed to provide Atlantic region communications services..

2007 December 21 - . 21:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5GS. LV Configuration: Ariane 5GS V180 (530).
  • Rascom-QAF-1 - . Payload: Spacebus 4000B3. Mass: 4,579 kg (10,094 lb). Nation: Mauritius. Agency: RascomStarQAF. Manufacturer: Alenia. Program: Rascom. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Spacebus 4000. USAF Sat Cat: 32387 . COSPAR: 2007-063A. Apogee: 35,796 km (22,242 mi). Perigee: 35,771 km (22,227 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.00 min. African communications satellite with a hybrid Ku/C-band payload. Nominal owner RascomStarQAF of Port Louis, Mauritius, a subsidiary of the Regional African Satellite Communications Organization (RASCOM) based in Cote d'Ivoire. The mission and satellite control centers were located in Cameroun and Libya. The satellite was to provide voice, data and internet services throughout Africa. Ahelium leak in the propulsion system prevented use of the primary apogee motor. Reaction control motors were used instead to slowly move the satellite into geosynchronous orbit. The satellite was expected to reach its operating location, but with a shorter-than-planned operational lifetime.
  • Horizons 2 - . Payload: Star-2. Mass: 2,350 kg (5,180 lb). Nation: Bermuda. Agency: Intelsat; JSAT. Manufacturer: OSC. Program: Horizons. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Star bus. USAF Sat Cat: 32388 . COSPAR: 2007-063D. Apogee: 35,816 km (22,254 mi). Perigee: 35,815 km (22,254 mi). Inclination: 0.0000 deg. Period: 1,437.50 min. Launched by Horizons Satellite Holdings LLC, a joint venture of Intelsat and the Japanese JSAT company. To be placed at 74 deg W to serve United States, eastern Canada, and the Caribbean with communication services using its 16-transmitter Ku-band communications payload.

2009 December 18 - . 16:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5GS. LV Configuration: Ariane 5GS s/n L532.
  • Helios 2B - . Mass: 4,200 kg (9,200 lb). Nation: France. Agency: Arianespace. Program: Helios. Spacecraft: SPOT-5A-5B. USAF Sat Cat: 36124 . COSPAR: 2009-073A. Apogee: 680 km (420 mi). Perigee: 680 km (420 mi). Inclination: 98.0000 deg. Summary: French military surveillance satellite..

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