Ariane 5 is cleared for its fifth and final ATV mission to service the International Space Station
Arianespace’s heavy-lift Ariane 5 workhorse has been given the go-ahead for Flight VA219 – a record mission carrying Europe’s last Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV).
Following the comprehensive launch readiness review – which verified the status of Ariane 5, its ATV payload, downrange tracking systems and the Spaceport’s infrastructure – today’s approval sets the stage for a July 29 liftoff at precisely 8:47:38 p.m. in French Guiana.
On this flight, Ariane 5 will deploy its ATV payload – designated Georges Lemaître – into a circular orbit at an altitude of 260 kilometers, inclined 51.6 degrees, nearly one hour and four minutes after liftoff from the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone.
Weighing more than 20 metric tons, Automated Transfer Vehicle Georges Lemaître is the heaviest payload ever launched by an Ariane 5. When added to Arianespace’s previous four ATV flights since 2008, the heavy-lift Ariane 5 ES version used for ATV resupply missions will have lofted more than 100 metric tons into orbit for the International Space Station (ISS).
Managed by the European Space Agency, the ATV program is part of Europe’s contribution to the International Space Station’s operation, playing a vital role in bringing supplies to this crewed orbital facility, as well as reboosting the ISS into its nominal orbit. The Automated Transfer Vehicle’s prime contractor is Airbus Defence and Space, which is also Ariane 5’s industrial architect.