Headlines > News > A new Ariane 5 takes shape at the Spaceport for Arianespace's next launch

A new Ariane 5 takes shape at the Spaceport for Arianespace's next launch

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:54 pm
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Arianespace Press Release:

The Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s upcoming dual-payload mission has completed its initial build-up as preparations continue for an early May launch with the Astra 1L and Galaxy 17 satellites.

Ariane 5’s main cryogenic core stage is straddled by the two solid rocket boosters as preparation work continues inside the Launcher Integration Building. Mobile work stands provide access to the lower and upper sections of the vehicle.

The two large solid rocket boosters have been mated to Ariane 5’s main core cryogenic stage, creating the propulsion system that will power the vehicle through its initial phases of flight.

This activity is taking place inside the Launcher Integration Building at Europe’s Spaceport, where the Ariane 5 also will receive its ESC-A cryogenic upper stage and vehicle equipment bay.

Build-up of the launcher is being performed under the responsibility of Ariane 5 industrial prime contractor Astrium Space Transportation. Astrium will then transfer it to the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building, where Arianespace takes over for the payload integration, final checkout and launch.

Ariane 5’s launch in early May will serve two long-time Arianespace customers: Intelsat (the operator of Galaxy 17) and SES (which will add Astra 1L to the satellite fleet of SES Astra).

This will be Arianespace’s second flight of 2007, following the success of last Sunday’s Ariane 5 mission that orbited the United Kingdom’s Skynet 5A military communications satellite and India’s INSAT 4B television/telecommunications relay spacecraft.

Arianespace is targeting six Ariane 5 flights in 2007 by Arianespace, and the company is building up to a stabilized rate of eight Ariane 5 missions annually by 2009.

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