The development program began in 1983 and the first successful launch was on 15 June 1988. The system became the basis for a European satellite launching program with a stellar record of 113 successful missions and only three launch failures. Ariane 4 provided a payload increase from 1700 kg for Ariane 3 to a maximum of 4800 kg to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO). The record for Ariane 4 to GTO was 4946 kg.
The rocket was used in a number of variants - it could be fitted with two or four additional solid (PAP - Propulseurs d'Appoint à Poudre) or liquid fueled booster rockets (PAL - Propulseurs d'Appoint à Liquide). The launcher included a satellite payload carrier system called Spelda (Structure Porteuse Externe de Lancement Double Ariane, French for 'External carrying structure for Ariane double launches') for launching more than one satellite at a time.
Ariane 4 AR 40 was the basic version, with three stages: 58.4 m high, a diameter of 3.8 m, a liftoff mass of 245 t and a maximum payload of 2100 kg to GTO or 5000 kg to Low Earth orbit (LEO). Main power was from four Viking 2B motors each producing 667 kN of thrust. The second stage had a single Viking 4B motor, and the third stage had an HM7-B liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen motor. AR 44L, with the maximum additional boost of four liquid fuel rocket strap-ons, was four-stage, weighed 470 t and could transfer a payload of 4730 kg to GTO or 7600 kg to LEO.
|AR 40|| || || || || |
|AR 42L|| || || || || |
|AR 42P|| || || || ||1 December 1994|
|AR 44L|| || || || ||22 February 1990|
|AR 44LP|| || || || ||24 January 1994|
|AR 44P|| || || || || |
Ariane 4 has accomplished 116 flights with a success rate of more than 97%.
Aerospatiale plans to upgrade Ariane 4 and Ariane 5 rockets. (planned communication satellite equipment upgrades)(France)
Sep 12, 1994; PEPINSTER, Belgium--Aerospatiale is working to upgrade the lift capacity of the Ariane 4 and the planned Ariane 5 launch vehicles...