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Ariane 5 E Space Rocket Scheduled to Liftoff

02 December 2002

When the new Ariane 5 E space rocket lifts itself into the tropical sky over Kourou, French Guyana, the European space program will again be highlighted.

Thanks to its 1,600 tons of thrust, the Ariane 5 E can simultaneously carry several satellites weighing 10 tons in a geostationary orbit to 36,000 km altitude above the earth's surface. In an earth-proximate orbit of 550 km, the launcher can even carry 20 tons. This advanced new generation launcher enables Europe to lower the price per kilograms for satellites by approximately 40 percent.

The fairing, the topmost part of the launcher, performs the vital task of protecting the expensive satellites from aerodynamic, thermal and acoustic loads during the flight stage through the earth's atmosphere. To date, the innovative Swiss company can claim that all 160 payload fairings used have functioned reliably. This is due to Contraves Space AG fairings employing a CFK fabrication system that uses composite fiber-reinforced plastic.






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