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Features: - Fully detailed 1/400 Ariane 5G - Mobile launch pad included - Pre-assembled
The European Space Agency (ESA) may not be as well known as NASA, but it also maintains an active space program. The primary space rocket it uses is the Ariane 5, which is produced by prime contractor Astrium, a company belonging to EADS. The Ariane 5 workhorse is an extendable launch system that can deliver payloads into geostationary or low Earth orbits. Three major satellites can be launched simultaneously, and up to eight secondary payloads can be carried too. Although the first Ariane 5 test flight in June 1996 was a failure, it has since completed a total of 58 launches. The most recent was in May 2011, with all launches taking place in French Guiana in South America. During its lifetime, Ariane 5 has been modified until reaching the current standard of Ariane 5 ES (standing for “Evolution Storable”). It uses two non-reusable solid rocket boosters to launch it into space, each weighing about 277 tonnes. The Ariane 5 is set to continue serving European needs until at least 2015.