On this day in 1971 - October 30th - SA-1, the European Space Agency (ESA) launched its first successful Ariane 5 rocket.

The Ariane 5, Europe's most powerful launch vehicle, has been used to launch the XMM-Newton X-ray observatory, numerous telecom satellites, all of the International Space Station ATV resupply ships, the Herschel Space Observatory, and the Rosetta mission.