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cross section of a space launcher (Ariane V) [2]click to hear

In service since 1996, this European launcher transports heavy payloads, including the most powerful communications satellites.
cross section of a space launcher (Ariane V) [2] rocket engine solid booster stage main cryogenic stage lower section fairing upper section nozzle payload storable propellant upper stage satellite vehicle equipment bay solid rocket booster dual launch structure payload adaptor liquid oxygen tank liquid hydrogen tank

rocket engine click to hear

Ensures launcher propulsion by means of liquid hydrogen combustion in contact with liquid oxygen.

solid booster stage click to hear

Provides the main thrust during takeoff before separating from the main cryogenic stage.

main cryogenic stage click to hear

Central body that ensures propulsion after the solid booster stage separates.

lower section click to hear

Composed of the main cryogenic stage and the solid booster stage.

fairing click to hear

The tip of the launcher that houses and protects the payload.

upper section click to hear

Composed of the storable propellant upper stage and the payload.

nozzle click to hear

The end portion of a rocket from which combustion gases escape, thereby creating the thrust needed to propel the craft.

payload click to hear

Space probe or satellite carried by the launcher.

storable propellant upper stage click to hear

Upper stage used to propel the payload toward its final orbit.

satellite click to hear

A spacecraft transported by the launcher and placed in orbit around Earth.

vehicle equipment bay click to hear

Houses most of the onboard electronic equipment and flight-control systems.

solid rocket booster click to hear

Solid-fuel thruster that provides most of the lift during the first few minutes of flight, after which it separates.

dual launch structure click to hear

Module used to insert two independent payloads into orbit.

payload adaptor click to hear

Ensures satellite/launcher interface and is compatible with all satellite platforms.

liquid oxygen tank click to hear

Serves to burn liquid hydrogen, thereby providing the energy needed for rocket propulsion.

liquid hydrogen tank click to hear

Hydrogen, burned on contact with liquid oxygen, serves as engine fuel.