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N° 20–1996: Flight 501 failure- first information

6 June 1996

The first Ariane-5 launch took place on Tuesday, 4 June 1996, from the Guiana Space Centre, Europe's Spaceport, at Kourou in French Guiana. The launcher was carrying the European Space Agencys four Cluster satellites, a science mission to study Earth-Sun interactions.

Following nominal ignition of the Vulcain engine (HO) at 09.33.59 hours Kourou time, i.e. 12.33.59 hours GMT or 14.33.59 hours Paris time, the flight proceeded as follows:

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