Ariane 5 rolls out to the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building in preparation for its December 4 mission
Arianespace’s sixth Ariane 5 for launch in 2014 is now ready to receive its two satellite passengers after this workhorse vehicle was moved to the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building in French Guiana.
The Ariane 5 rolled out yesterday from the Launcher Integration Building – where its core cryogenic stage, two solid boosters and cryogenic upper stage were mated by industrial architect Airbus Defence and Space – to the Final Assembly Building for delivery to Arianespace.
Now under Arianespace’s responsibility, the launcher is set for integration of its payloads – the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) GSAT-16; and DIRECTV-14, which was built by SSL (Space Systems/Loral) for operator DIRECTV. This activity will be followed by the final verifications and subsequent transfer to the ELA-3 launch zone in advance of the scheduled December 4 liftoff.
This upcoming heavy-lift flight is designated VA221 in Arianespace’s numbering system, signifying the 221st flight of an Ariane family vehicle since 1979.