The Paris Air Show opens to the rhythm of Arianespace’s launch cadence
Arianespace has brought the sights and sounds of its launcher family operations to this week’s Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport, while also providing an advanced look at payload configurations for future missions of its Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega launch vehicles.
Arianespace’s outdoor theater attracted attention throughout the Paris Air Show’s opening day with its continuous showing of dual-screen movies and the display of scale model payload fairings for Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega.
The excitement of Arianespace’s operations from the Spaceport in French Guiana is provided by a large dual-screen outdoor theater unit, which is strategically located in the Paris Air Show’s static display area adjacent to the company’s hospitality chalet. This film shows liftoffs of the company’s three launcher family members, along with animated representations of certain missions yet to come.
Located next to the screen are individual 1/4-scale models of payload fairings for Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega that represent the passengers to be lofted on flights included in Arianespace’s active mission manifest during the next two years.
The payload configuration for Arianespace’s upcoming heavy-lift Ariane 5 mission – planned for the second half of July – is depicted in its dual-satellite arrangement with India’s INSAT-3D and Europe’s Alphasat. INSAT-3D was built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and carries weather forecasting payloads along with a search and rescue relay system. The Astrium-built Alphasat satellite co-passenger will provide additional L-band capacity for coverage of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Alphasat is to be operated under an agreement between the European Space Agency (ESA) and European commercial satellite operator Inmarsat.
At its Le Bourget outdoor theater area, Arianespace also is showing a representative fairing for the medium-lift Soyuz with the Gaia spacecraft. Developed under ESA’s responsibility, Gaia will have the ambitious task of charting a three-dimensional map of the Milky Way – in the process revealing the composition, formation and evolution of the galaxy.
Completing the trio of scale models is the lightweight Vega’s fairing containing the ESA Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV). This spacecraft is to help validate the basic knowledge necessary for Europe’s development of future reentry systems from low Earth orbit. Atmospheric reentry is applicable to a wide range of applications in future space transportation, including next-generation launchers, planetary exploration, sample-return missions, space planes and crew and cargo transportation.