Headlines > News > Another Ariane 5 is readied for delivery to Arianespace at the Spaceport

Another Ariane 5 is readied for delivery to Arianespace at the Spaceport

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Mon Jul 6, 2009 3:54 pm
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(Arianespace) – Ariane 5’s 2009 mission pace is continuing as the fourth workhorse vehicle to be launched this year is prepared for its handover to Arianespace at the Spaceport in French Guiana.

This vehicle currently is in the Launcher Integration Building, where industrial prime contractor EADS Astrium has completed its initial build-up.  The activity began in June, and included the mating of Ariane 5’s core cryogenic stage with its two solid boosters on the mobile launch table, followed by installation of the upper composite with the ESC-A cryogenic upper stage and vehicle equipment bay.    

 The heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA for Arianespace’s fourth mission of 2009 is shown in the Launcher Integration Building at Europe’s Spaceport. The “bulging” effect in this picture is due to the use of a wide-angle lens, which enables a full view of the launcher.

The heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA

After the completion of functional testing, the Ariane 5 will be transferred to the Spaceport’s  Final Assembly Building – where Arianespace will take delivery for the integration of its dual satellite payload, and perform the launch operations for a mid-August liftoff.  The mission will orbit telecommunications payloads for two Asia-Pacific customers: JCSAT-12 for Japan’s SKY Perfect JSAT Corp.; and the Australian Optus D3 spacecraft for Optus.

A total of seven Ariane 5 missions are targeted in 2009 to serve the launch requirements of Arianespace’s international customer base.  To date, three on-target flights have been performed this year, with the most recent occurring last week when TerreStar-1 – the world’s largest commercial satellite ever orbited – was carried as a solo payload on a dedicated Ariane 5.

The two earlier Arianespace missions of 2009 were conducted on May 14 (with Europe’s Herschel and Planck deep space telescopes), and on February 12 (orbiting the HOT BIRD 10 and NSS-9 commercial telecommunications satellites, along with a pair of Spirale auxiliary passengers for the French defense procurement agency).

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