The Ariane 3 is the third model in the series of Ariane rockets.
The structure of the Ariane 3 is identical to the Ariane 2, except for the two additional solid rocket boosters, which increases their starting weight 237 t. To protect the ELA -1 launch site used by most of the Ariane -3 missiles against damage boosters were ignited but only after take-off in 11 m height, because the launch pad ELA -1 was designed for missile without booster.
The payload that could be brought by the Ariane 3 in a geostationary orbit, was 2700 kg, 525 kg more than the Ariane 2
There were eleven launches of Ariane 3 The first was successfully held on 4 August 1984, remarkably, before the first launch of an Ariane 2 Only the fifth launch on September 12, 1985 failed.
Nine Ariane 3 rocket lifted from the launch site ELA -1 and two Ariane 3 raised ( as an Ariane 2) of a purpose built particularly high Start platform on the set up for the Ariane 4 launch site ELA - 2 from to these first before exploitation of Ariane 4 to test and increase the launch rate.
All take-offs went into geostationary transfer orbit. Except in the last race with the experimental satellites Olympus, two satellites were always started together.
The small number of launches is due to the advent of more versatile and more powerful Ariane 4 in 1988.
This is a complete list of all launches.
¹ The payloads are listed as they were one above the other or side by side housed (in rare cases ) in the payload fairing. The top payload first, then the second highest, etc.
² Not the target orbit of the payload, but rather the track on which the payload is suspended by the third stage.