Happy Birthday Ariane

Standard

I missed this, the ESA put out the video on their YouTube chan­nel before Christmas, but if I keep quiet about that maybe no one will notice. Ariane is now 30 years old.

ESA cel­eb­rates 30 years of Ariane.

The first Ariane launched from Kourou in French Guiana on Christmas Eve 1979. The Kourou site sounds like a con­veni­ent a trop­ical jungle remote from ESA headquar­ters. However, as Alice Gorman has found, not every­one finds it exot­ic­ally dis­tant.

Ariane could also be con­sidered an American suc­cess story too. The reason the French and Germans needed to build it was that Richard Nixon pre­ven­ted the com­mer­cial use of European satel­lites launched on US Delta rock­ets. That forced Europe into build­ing its own inde­pend­ent rocket which now it one of the most com­mer­cially suc­cess­ful launch­ers. You can read more about Ariane on Jonathan Amos’s blog Spaceman, which I’ve just dis­covered, or more about Kourou on Alice Gorman’s blog Space Age Archaeology.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>