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Europe and Space Transportation Systems

ESA introduced the European-built Ariane launch vehicle in 1979, and by the end of 1994 the organization had conducted 780 missions, almost all for purely commercial purposes, with an overall success record of 90.0% (Figure 2.4). The overall Ariane 1 vehicle was joined in 1984 by Ariane 2/3 and in 1988 by Ariane 4. Since 1989 all ESA orbital flights have used a variant of the Ariane 48 booster. In 42 launches, Ariane 48 suffered 38 failures for a 92.9% reliability mark, but two of these losses occurred in 1994. The substantially larger Ariane 5 launch vehicle is scheduled to debut in early 1996.


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