Ariane 5

Ariane 5 is a European heavy-lift space launch vehicle developed and operated by Arianespace for the European Space Agency. It is launched from the Centre Spatial Guyanais in French Guiana. It has been used to deliver payloads into geostationary transfer orbit or low Earth orbit. The rocket had a streak of 85 consecutive successful launches between 9 April 2003 and 12 December 2017. A direct successor system, Ariane 6, is in development. The system was originally designed as an expendable launch system by the Centre national d'études spatiales, the French government's space agency, in close cooperation with Germany and other European partners. Despite not being a direct derivative of its predecessor rocket program, it is classified as part of the Ariane rocket family. Airbus Defence and Space is the prime contractor for the vehicles, leading a multi-country consortium of other European contractors.

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Ariane 5 launches final mission as Europe faces space gap

Say goodbye to Europe's Ariane 5 rocket with these stunning final launch photos

Europe's Ariane 5 rocket lifts off for final time