I would like to know the performance for escape mission of the Ariane 5 launcher. More precisely, I would like "LV Performance vs. C 3" curve. My problem is, I can find this info for a lot of launchers but not Ariane. Does anybody have such plot or, at least the value for low C3 (around 0-4)?

Soyuz curve Here the kind of plot I would like. This one is for Soyuz and I found it in the Soyuz user's manual but this is not in the Ariane one's.


1 Answer 1


The Ariane 5 user manual has the following data:

Using a storable propellant upper stage, through a delayed ignition of this upper stage, Ariane 5, in the A5G version, has demonstrated its ability to carry a satellite weighing 3065 kg, leading to a total required performance of 3190 kg, towards the following earth escape orbit:
- infinite velocity V∞ = 3545 m/s
- declination δ = - 2°

The typical Ariane 5ECA performance on a similar orbit is 4.3 t.

No graph though.

C$_3$ = (V∞)$^2$. And V∞ is related to payload mass via the rocket equation, so you should be able to draw a plot using this one data point. I've no time to do that today though.

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I found only information like that. Is it possibilities to extrapolate these data for interplanetary mission? $\endgroup$
    – Tonio
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 14:14
  • $\begingroup$ I think so, yes. See the last paragraph of my answer. $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 20:09
  • $\begingroup$ The rocket equation assume there is no extern forces. I do you take account of drag, gravity and others forces due to the Earth and atmosphere? Do you know a good model for this? $\endgroup$
    – Tonio
    Commented Oct 31, 2015 at 1:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well, you have one data point that takes those forces into account. I expect you can plug that into the rocket equation and get reasonably close. The rocket equation will set the shape of the V∞/m curve, your data point will set the starting point. But that's just an assumption. I recommend you ask a new question about how to calculate these curves, that might trigger an answer from someone who knows more than me. $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Commented Oct 31, 2015 at 7:03
  • $\begingroup$ I didn't think about that! I'll try it and eventually ask another question. Thanks you very much! $\endgroup$
    – Tonio
    Commented Oct 31, 2015 at 14:32

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