THE European satellite launcher Ariane which will be celebrating its eleventh year of service next Christmas has got its fifth wind. The new version is scheduled to leave its launching pad in French Guiana in 1995, thus adding a further advanced stage to versions 3 and 4. Its broadened shoulders will first be required to bear the burden of keeping the leading position gained by Ariane‐space on the civilian satellite launch market. The competition will be fierce. Since 1989 the American space industry has been racing to the front with the new versions of the Delta and Atlas‐Centaur launchers. Japan is preparing to fire its first 112 rocket and the Soviet Union is offering the services of its Proton heavy launchers.
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