Headlines > News > Initial build-up of the Ariane 5 GS is complete at Europe's Spaceport

Initial build-up of the Ariane 5 GS is complete at Europe's Spaceport

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Jun 2, 2007 3:52 pm
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An Ariane 5 GS launch vehicle has completed its initial assembly at Europe’s Spaceport as preparations move ahead for two Arianespace missions that are scheduled in an interval of less than one month during August and September.

The Ariane 5 GS has now been equipped with its vehicle equipment bay and the storable propellant EPS upper stage, which followed last week’s mating of its two solid boosters with the core cryogenic stage. The activity took place inside the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building, with this Ariane 5 to be utilized for a mid-September flight to orbit the Intelsat-11 and Horizons-2 satellites.

With its basic build-up complete, the vehicle will be transferred to the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building, freeing up the Launcher Integration Building for preparation of an Ariane 5 ECA. The heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA will be used for a mission scheduled in mid-August, which will orbit the SPACEWAY 3 and BSAT-3A satellites.

Once the Ariane 5 ECA’s basic assembly is complete, a swap-out will occur – with the Ariane 5 ECA moving over to the Final Assembly Building for installation of its dual-satellite payload, while the Ariane 5 GS returns to the Launcher Integration Building, ready for final processing.

Arianespace has the capability to adapt its launch pace to meet customers’ mission needs, as well as make adjustments for variations in the delivery schedules of their satellites. Operational resources available for Arianespace at the Spaceport include an extensive ground infrastructure and two Ariane 5 mobile launch tables, which is backed up by the production capacity of Ariane’s industrial team in Europe.

Two heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA flights already have been performed from the Spaceport in 2007, successfully orbiting four telecommunications satellites (Skynet 5A, INSAT 4B, ASTRA 1L and Galaxy 17) in March and May. Arianespace’s Starsem affiliate conducted its first mission of the year on May 30, when a Soyuz vehicle was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome with four spacecraft to augment the Globalstar satellite constellation.

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