Headlines > News > Integration begins for the seventh Ariane 5 to be launched in 2009

Integration begins for the seventh Ariane 5 to be launched in 2009

Published by Matt on Fri Oct 16, 2009 7:14 am via: source
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The seventh and final Ariane 5 for launch in 2009 has begun its assembly process in French Guiana, maintaining the pace for Arianespace’s busiest year of flight activity since this workhorse launcher’s December 1999 commercial introduction.

In the following images, the latest vehicle is shown as it was erected in the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building this week.

cryogenic core stage for Ariane 5. Credit: Arianespace

cryogenic core stage for Ariane 5. Credit: Arianespace

Using an overhead hoist system in the Launcher Integration Building’s delivery dock, the cryogenic core stage for Ariane 5 is lifted from its purpose-built shipping container.  The stage is manufactured by Ariane 5 industrial prime contractor EADS Astrium, and is powered by a Vulcain engine that burns for approximately nine minutes during the flight.

Ariane 5’s cryogenic core stage is readied for placement. Credit: Arianespace

Ariane 5’s cryogenic core stage is readied for placement. Credit: Arianespace

Oriented horizontally after being removed from the shipping container, Ariane 5’s cryogenic core stage is readied for placement in a support tool that enables its rotation to the vertical position.  This close-up image with one of the launch team members provides an idea of scale for the core stage, which is 30.5 meters tall.

 	  The cryogenic core stage reaches the midway point in its rotation to the vertical position. Credit: Arianespace

The cryogenic core stage reaches the midway point in its rotation to the vertical position. Credit: Arianespace

The cryogenic core stage reaches the midway point in its rotation to the vertical position, readying this Ariane 5 launcher component for transfer into the Launcher Integration Building’s main assembly area.  Visible on the stage’s underside are its Vulcain cryogenic main engine and nozzle.  Also evident are two spherical bottles, one of which is used to pressurize the stage’s liquid oxygen tank, while the other will carry helium for the main engine’s actuation control system.

unusual downward-looking view of the mobile launch table on which the Ariane 5 will be installed. Credit: Arianespace

unusual downward-looking view of the mobile launch table on which the Ariane 5 will be installed. Credit: Arianespace

This image, taken in the Launcher Integration Building’s upper level, provides an unusual downward-looking view of the mobile launch table on which the Ariane 5 will be installed.  Two mobile tables are in operation at the Spaceport, enabling the parallel preparation of Ariane 5s – providing Arianespace with its unmatched mission flexibility.  The other launch table currently is in the Spaceport’s Final Assembly building with an Ariane 5 that is being readied to launch the NSS-12 and THOR 6 satellites late this month.

Ariane 5’s core cryogenic stage is moved toward its mobile launch table. Credit: Arianespace

Ariane 5’s core cryogenic stage is moved toward its mobile launch table. Credit: Arianespace

Transported by an overhead crane, the Ariane 5’s core cryogenic stage is moved toward its mobile launch table.  Once suspended over the table, the stage will be mated with the launcher’s two solid boosters, which will be delivered on mobile pallets that are placed directly on the table.

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