Welcome to SENKRECHTSTARTER your YouTube channel for everything about space travel. I'm Mo and today it's about the European Ariane rockets. Have fun! I've already told you a lot about SpaceX, the Falcon9 and the Starship here on the channel. We looked at the moon landing technique in the 1960s and discussed the SLS. We talked about the space shuttle and the Soyuz. So far we have completely left out, but we have European space travel. That was also due to the many current issues in commercial space travel, but it is actually absurd. Because we also build excellent missiles in Europe . And so I decided to do a little more advertising for European space travel . Because we're all Team Space! (1) (2) The Ariane family just had its 40th birthday and stands for a very successful own access to space for Europe. This is something not to be underestimated. Do we Europeans want to be dependent on other countries and not European technology? In today's episode, I'll tell you something about the history of the Ariane rocket family, the technology used, and give an outlook on the Ariane 6, which will start next year for the first time and which should reduce the start-up costs by 50% compared to the Ariane 5.
If you like the topic today, please like the video and if you don't want to miss further videos about space technology, please subscribe to my channel, because every Monday there is a new episode of whiz kid. We are approaching the 1000 Abbos and even if the channel is still a little twinkle in the shining YouTube starry sky, I would very much like it if we could kindle the enthusiasm for space travel in the German-speaking area. Maybe you know people who would enjoy my videos and share the channel with them. Main part Enough of the self-promotion back to the rockets: The Ariane 5, which is the main topic today, was commissioned directly by ESA. (3), based in Paris, was founded in 1975 to better coordinate European space activities and what I particularly like: is supposed to "devote itself exclusively to peaceful purposes". (4) The ESA gives orders to the space companies of the countries participating in the programs in accordance with the membership fees for the respective programs .
There is no direct connection between the European Union and the ESA. The ESA is therefore not the EU space agency but a completely independent organization. But also non-European countries such as Switzerland and Canada are involved in it or cooperate with it. ESA does not have its own ability to bring astronauts into space, but has an international astronaut program that flies with Russians and Americans. (5) In fact, an upper stage was planned for the Ariane 5 times, which was supposed to transport 3 astronauts + 3 tons of payload into space with a small space shuttle . The Hermes program (6) manned after the Greek messenger of the gods, (7) was discontinued in the early 1990s. When we come to mythological names: Ariane (8) is the French name for the Greek goddess Ariadne. Exactly that was the one with the thread where the hero found out of the labyrinth. I really like that she was married to the god of wine. I digress back to rockets: (9) As the name suggests, there were 4 predecessors before the Ariane 5.
(10) The European space program is even a tad older. Imposing France, France, Great Britain and Germany joined forces in the 1960s to develop a 3-stage launch vehicle for satellites. The aim was to oppose the two space superpowers, the Soviet Union and the USA, and to not be dependent on others in the long term to open up space. These efforts were bundled in the development of the Euro rocket (11), whereby each of the 3 countries should develop one of the levels : the 1st level by GB, the 2nd level in France and by Germany the 3rd upper level.
There were then also 4 attempts to start, all of which ended in failure, and so the program ended in a relatively inglorious way. Politically, failures are something super cruel and so some politicians should only “drive on sight” in order not to stumble over failures. For engineers, however , failure is probably the greatest source of knowledge and innovation. "Why are we falling Master Bruce? In order to learn to get up again. ”One had obviously learned from Europa, because it first became Ariane 1 and then slightly modified Ariane 2 and 3. (12) But then Ariane 4 became a real niche for payloads could occupy. While the US had fully relied on the space shuttle in order to reduce the cost of freight into space and the shuttle program then got completely out of hand in terms of costs and could never be operated economically, the Ariane 4 was able to undermine its capabilities here as a cost-effective carrier Provide proof and position yourself very cheaply in the market, especially through a double launch capability of 2 payloads at the same time.
(13) The Ariane 4 was mainly based on the Ariane 1 and, depending on the payload requirements, could be booked in different start configurations at Ariane Space, which was founded especially for the commercial marketing of the Ariane. While the hypergolic main stage always remained the same, there were 5 different booster configurations for a naked version without a booster . Where p stands for (sorry my French) poudre not to be confused with püta solid booster. An L, on the other hand, stands for liquid liquid engine boosters with hypergolic fuels. The following nomenclature resulted for the different configurations: (14) An Ariane 40 for naked without booster (7 successful flights no false start) A 42p for 2 solid boosters (15 successful flights 1 false start) 42l for two liquid boosters (13 successful flights no false start) 44p for 4 solid boosters (15 successful flights no false start) 44l for 4 liquid boosters (40 successful flights 1 false start) and 44lp for 2 liquid and 2 solid boosters.
(26 successful flights 1 false start) (15) You can already guess why the Ariane 4 was so popular. With 113 successful starts and very few failures and also configurable according to requirements, it seems to have hit the market of the time. (16) When the successor to Ariane 5 was launched, Ariane 4 had captured around half of the commercial satellite launch market. Incidentally, the last flight of Ariane 4 was that of a 44L in spring 2003.
The Americans reacted to the market and were able to serve the growing satellite launch market with intercontinental rockets such as the Atlas and the Delta. In order to respond precisely to this new price pressure, the Ariane 5 program was started at the end of the 80s in the year I was born. The goal in the development of the (17) Ariane 5 was a 60 percent higher payload for which only 90% of the costs of an Ariane 44L should be incurred. Combined, this should allow a cost reduction per kilo of almost 50%. While the rocket configuration of the Ariane 4 could be changed very widely using different boosters , the basic concept of the Ariane 5 has always remained unchanged. (1) We have the main stage, the width of which defines the rest of the rocket towards the top, and a payload fairing which always tapers this width towards the top with the same proportions. Depending on the upper level, the central cylinder is longer or shorter but the ends and maximum width always remain the same. The main cylinder is flanked by two identical solid fuel boosters. Which cling to the main cylinder at their ends. Maybe that's a matter of taste, but for me the Ariane 5 is a very aesthetic rocket.
What do you mean? Which rocket do you like the most? Please write to me under the video. With a launch mass of 750 t, the Ariane 5 is, in comparison to the Ariane 4 in the strongest version with around 480 t, the significantly larger rocket. Although it is about the same height in the tallest version at 59m. Or a little shorter with 53m in the smallest. The significant increase was due to the trend towards ever larger payloads. During the development of Ariane 5, a program to increase the performance of Ariane 5 was started.
This was mainly achieved through the further development of the Vulcain engine. Currently, the trend is tending towards smaller payloads again, or the market is becoming significantly larger in all segments, with competition also increasing rapidly. If you have been on a whiz for a long time, you know that I am particularly interested in rocket engines and so I will definitely make a video about Vulcain (18). I will then link it to you here in the engine technology playlist. The Vulcain was a huge leap for the European space program. While the main stages have so far always been operated hypergolically, which is not uncompromising but is much easier than mastering cryogenic liquid turbines, it was decided to operate the main stage of the Ariane 5 with cryogenic oxygen and hydrogen. If you are more interested in the subject of rocket fuels, please have a look at my video on the subject that I link to here. Although this combination, which is also called Hydrolox, is difficult to handle: after all , oxygen is only liquid at -184 ° C and hydrogen is only liquid at an incredible -251 ° C , but it generates by far the most thrust per mass of fuel used.
The keyword is specific impulse. Among the rocket engines , the cryogenic liquid-driven rocket motors are rightly regarded as a key competence. What kind of leap European space travel made with the Vulcain from Ariane 4 to Ariane 5 can be seen by comparing the 3 (19). Level of the Ariane 4 pointing at the Vulcain. While the cryogenic third stage of the Ariane-4 only delivered 10 tons of thrust, the Vulcain had to deliver 115 tons of thrust for the first versions of the Ariane-5. In the vacuum and the latest Vulcain 2 version now even over 130 tons. That's a huge leap in performance and required a lot of development.
In addition to the two solid fuel boosters on the sides of the Ariane 5, the Vulcain delivers 8% of the total thrust of an Ariane 5 when it takes off. (20) In the start sequence, the Vulcain engine is ignited by three pyrotechnic devices on the launch pad. As soon as the engine runs normally about 6 s after ignition , the solid fuel rocket boosters are ignited. As you may already know, solid fuel boosters cannot be switched off after an ignition. If an error is detected before the booster is ignited , the Vulcain can simply be switched off and everything checked. Booster ignition, on the other hand, means: point of no return: fly or die. During a typical geostationary transfer orbit, the Vulcain burns for almost 10 minutes while the boosters are burned out after a little over 2 minutes. (21) Even if the Ariane 5 is now one of the most reliable rockets, and its development has certainly paid off, everything did not always go according to plan: (22) The first flight of an Ariane 5 was in the summer of 1997 because the people were very confident 4 research satellites valued at DM 450 million are included for the maiden flight. Like the entire European space program, the first Ariane 5 was launched from Kouru in Guyana, France.
(23) Kouru is considered to be one of the best starting places in the world. This is because it has optimal geographical conditions. On the one hand, this is due to the proximity of the equator, which means an extra portion of oomph for most orbits due to the earth's rotation, on the other hand, in addition to the ocean in the east direction, there is also a free field of fire to the north, which in turn enables starts in a polar orbit without having to be afraid of rocket parts or accidentally throwing rubble on other countries (something the Israelis can sing a song about).
Also not to be neglected: Korou is not plagued by tropical storms like Florida. This is something that climate change is unlikely to get any better in the next few years. But back to the first start of the Ariane 5: After the planned start in Kourou, the rocket deviated from the course 37 seconds later and started to dismantle itself due to the strong aerodynamic loads and so it was blown up from the ground just 40 seconds after take-off . After evaluating the telemetry data (i.e. the sensor signals that the rocket sends back to the ground in flight), it was clear that the thrusters of the solid propulsion units and the main engine were swiveled to their maximum deflection from one moment to the other – even though the Ariane 5 was on was on the right course.
I can also remember the mistake so well because in my very first computer science lecture during my studies the professor said: “You don't need to be able to program if you have enough time and unlimited capital.” So he wanted to say how important IT is for adolescent engineers . And to underpin that, he showed us his personal top ten of the stupidest programming errors with the most costly consequences.
And his number 1, you guessed it, was the first flight of the Ariane 5. Because the mistake that led to the loss of rocket and payload was a copypaste error. In order to save development costs, pages of code from Ariane 4, where it had worked perfectly, were simply taken over into the Ariane 5 program code. Parts that were not used at all with the Ariane 5 were also found in the code, or should I say cot. Part of the code caused the memory of one of the on-board computers to become clogged with unnecessary data and shut down. The system was redundant, but since it was a software error, the second computer shut down due to the same error. The missile interpreted the error as a control signal and so steered the engines into disaster. Missile way, payload away and a lot of confidence gone. The committee of inquiry found the same implementation errors in other parts of the Ariane 5 software.
The whole thing led to an exact revision of the Ariane 5 project and ultimately to an enormous delay in the entire Ariane 5 program. Except for these starting difficulties and further failure due to a new generation of engines, the Ariane 5 is a very reliable rocket and was and is, among other things, responsible for the construction of the (24) European navigation system Galileo, supplied the ISS with freight via ATVs and will be next Year bring the (25) Hubble successor James Webb Space Telescope into space.
And what does the future look like? The Ariane 5 is still booked for the next few years and will continue to fly for a while. (26) But an end is in sight. (27) The launch market is just so shaken by commercialization that many missiles are simply no longer competitive . SO the decision was made at ESA to develop the successor, the Ariane 6, which will hopefully fly next year. But since it is already becoming apparent that the Ariane 6 cannot compete with SpaceX prices either, the successor with reuse capabilities under the name Ariane NEXT and then probably Ariane 7 is already in development.
I am sure that people in Europe will also adjust to the competitive pressure. The fact that we are not at the forefront and that we do not build the biggest, cheapest or craziest rockets is perhaps not only a disadvantage (see SLS). But it will definitely remain exciting in European space travel. If you don't want to miss these and other developments in space travel, please subscribe to my channel because every Monday there is a new episode of whiz kid here. I hope you enjoyed the episode, if so, please leave me a like there. Until next week. Always stay vertical. Your Moe.