Europe's Ariane 503 rocket was launched on October 20th,1998. The launch successfully completed the series of three test flights, thus qualifying the new launcher for commercial use. ESA's ARD [Atmospheric Re-entry Demonstrator] was one of its passengers,
After a successful sub-orbital flight, the ARD was recovered from the Pacific ocean by the French Navy. This video details recovery training, launch of the ARD and the recovery itself. Interviews with: Lieutenant de vaisseau J-Pierre Boin, Commandant le REVI; Thierry Levuegle, Responsable Recuperation, Aerospatiale.