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First Ariane 5 launch in 1996
The Ariane 5 rocket has made 112 flights since its first launch. On 23 October 2021, it placed two geostationary satellites (one civilian and one military) into orbit. On this occasion, it broke its own record by sending a load of 11.2 tonnes into orbit. This was enough to make us forget its first flight, in 1996, which ended in failure: the rocket exploded 37 seconds after lift-off. Since then, Ariane 5 has put more than 200 satellites into orbit. The apotheosis of its career was the successful launch, on 25 December 2021, of the Webb Space Telescope, the largest telescope in the world, developed by NASA (USA), ESA (Europe) and CSA (Canada).
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