Invalid Ariane

June 7, 1996

Their products may go off with a bang, but it is hard to match the European Space Agency in the art of understatement. The opening sentence of their post-launch press release both put a brave face on the Ariane fiasco and gave fresh colour to one of the dullest words in the vocabulary: "The first Ariane-5 flight did not result in validation of Europe's new launcher."

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