Encyclopedia Astronautica
ARD


French re-entry vehicle technology satellite. One launch, 1998.10.21. The ARD was an 80 percent scale model of the Apollo Command Module, and a technology test for a possible International Space Station Crew Rescue Vehicle.

Equipment included a TDRS satellite communications system; a GPS navigation system; 7 DASA 40 kgf hydrazine attitude control thrusters; a 2.8 m diameter heat shield; three 23 meter diameter parachutes, and a SARSAT recovery beacon. The ARD separated from the Ariane EPS upper stage at 12 minutes 2 seconds after launch. ARD and the EPC stage maneuvered into a 1 km x 830 km orbit, guaranteeing re-entry at the end of the first orbit. The spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific at 3.69 degrees N, 153.35 degrees W, and was successfully recovered by the French Navy.

AKA: Atmospheric Reentry Demonstrator.
Span: 2.80 m (9.10 ft).
First Launch: 1998.10.21.
Number: 1 .

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Associated Countries
See also
  • Ariane 5 The Ariane 5 was a completely new design, unrelated to the earlier Ariane 1 to 4. It consisted of a single-engine Lox/LH2 core stage flanked by two solid rocket boosters. Preparatory work began in 1984. Full scale development began in 1988 and cost $ 8 billion. The design was sized for the Hermes manned spaceplane, later cancelled. This resulted in the booster being a bit too large for the main commercial payload, geosynchronous communications satellites. As a result, development of an uprated version capable of launching two such satellites at a time was funded in 2000. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Ariane 5 French orbital launch vehicle. The Ariane 5 was a completely new design, unrelated to the earlier Ariane 1 to 4. It consisted of a single-engine Lox/LH2 core stage flanked by two solid rocket boosters. Preparatory work began in 1984. Full scale development began in 1988 and cost $ 8 billion. The design was sized for the Hermes manned spaceplane, later cancelled. This resulted in the booster being a bit too large for the main commercial payload, geosynchronous communications satellites. As a result, development of an uprated version capable of launching two such satellites at a time was funded in 2000. More...
  • Ariane 5G French orbital launch vehicle. Initial version of the Ariane 5, a bit too large for the main commercial geosynchronous communications satellite payloads. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • ESA European agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. European Space Agency, Europe. More...
  • Cannes French manufacturer of spacecraft. Cannes, France. More...

Associated Programs
  • ISS Finally completed in 2010 after a torturous 25-year development and production process, the International Space Station was originally conceived as the staging post for manned exploration of the solar systrem. Instead, it was seemed to be the death knell of manned spaceflight. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Report (Internet Newsletter), Harvard University, Weekly, 1989 to Present. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Kourou After the agreement with newly independent Algeria for France to evacuate their launch sites in that country, a location near Biscarosse was selected for French missile testing. However since only launches westwards across the Bay of Biscay could be made from this site, it was unsuitable for France's Diamant orbital launch vehicle. After reviewing 14 potential sites, a location in the South American French colony of Guiana was selected. This would allow over-water launches to a tremendous range of possible orbital inclinations -- from -100.5 deg to 1.5 deg. Being near the equator, it would provide the maximum assist from the earth's rotation for launches into equatorial orbits. The decision was formalized in April 1964 and in July 1966 ELDO chose the site for future launches of the Europa II launch vehicle. More...

ARD Chronology


1998 October 21 - . 16:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA3. LV Family: Ariane 5. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 5G. LV Configuration: Ariane 5G V112 (503).
  • ARD - . Payload: Atmospheric Reentry Demonstrator. Nation: France. Agency: Arianespace. Program: ISS. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: ARD. COSPAR: 1998-059S. The ARD was an 80 percent scale model of the Apollo Command Module, and a technology test for a possible International Space Station Crew Rescue Vehicle. Equipment included a TDRS satellite communications system; a GPS navigation system; 7 DASA 40 kgf hydrazine attitude control thrusters; a 2.8 m diameter heat shield; three 23 metre diameter parachutes, and a SARSAT recovery beacon. The ARD separated from the Ariane EPS upper stage at 12 minutes 2 seconds after launch. ARD and the EPC stage manoeuvred into a 1 km x 830 km orbit, guaranteeing re-entry at the end of the first orbit. The spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific at 3.69 degrees N, 153.35 degrees W, and was successfully recovered by the French Navy.

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