Ariane 2

Ariane 2 was a European expendable carrier rocket, which was used for six launches between 1986 and 1989. It was a member of the Ariane family of rockets, and was produced by Aérospatiale in France.[1]:515

Ariane 2
FunctionMedium launch vehicle
ManufacturerAérospatiale for
ESA and Arianespace
Height49.13 m (161.2 ft)
Diameter3.8 m (12 ft)
Mass215,000 kg (474,000 lb)[1]:518
Payload to GTO2,175 kg (4,795 lb)[2]
Associated rockets
Launch history
Launch sitesGuiana Space Centre ELA-1
Total launches6[2]
First flight31 May 1986
Last flight2 April 1989
Notable payloadsTele-X
First stage – L-140[3]
Length19.09 m (62.6 ft)
Diameter3.80 m (12.5 ft)
Gross mass165.89 tonnes (182.86 tons)
EnginesViking 2B
Thrust2,580 kN (580,000 lbf)
Specific impulse2376 N·s/kg
Burn time138 s
FuelUH 25/N
Second stage – L-33[3]
Length11.47 m (37.6 ft)
Diameter2.60 m (8 ft 6 in)
Gross mass39.41 tonnes (43.44 tons)
EnginesViking 4B
Thrust784.8 kN (176,400 lbf) (vacuum)
Specific impulse2851 N·s/kg
Burn time128.9 s
FuelUH 25/N
Third stage – H-10[3]
Length9.89 m (32.4 ft)
Diameter2.60 m (8 ft 6 in)
Gross mass12.74 tonnes (14.04 tons)
Thrust64.2 kN (14,400 lbf)
Specific impulse4336N·s/kg
Burn time729s

The Ariane 2 is similar to Ariane 3, without additional solid rocket boosters.[1]:515 Its payload capacity was increased to 2,175 kilograms (4,795 lb) to a geosynchronous transfer orbit.

Launch history

Ariane 2 first flew on 31 May 1986 carrying the Intelsat-5A F-14 satellite. The third stage had a partial ignition followed by another ignition above nominal pressure which led to the engine failure. Because upper stage was shared with other Ariane rockets all flights was suspended until 16 September 1987. As a result of investigation more powerful igniters were installed.[4] Following this, five more launches were conducted, all of which were successful. The last Ariane 2 launch occurred on 2 April 1989, successfully placing Tele-X into orbit.[2]


  1. Harvey, Brian (2003). Europe's Space Programme: To Ariane and Beyond. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 1852337222.
  2. Krebs, Gunter. "Ariane-2". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  3. "Ariane, Design(1)". Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  4. Harland, David M; Lorenz, Ralph D. (2005). Space Systems Failures - Disasters and rescues of satellites, rockets, and space probes. Berlin, Heidelberg, New York: Praxis Publishing (Springer). p. 50. ISBN 0387215190.

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