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Ariane 5 May 28, 2013

Arianespace’s second Ariane 5 for launch in 2013 completes its final assembly with ATV Albert Einstein

In this series of photos, final assembly is completed for Flight VA213 as logos are applied to the Ariane 5’s payload fairing in the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building (left), followed by the fairing’s lowering over ATV Albert Einstein (center and right).

The Ariane 5 that will carry Europe’s fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) is now complete at the Spaceport – marking a key milestone as final preparations continue for Arianespace’s planned June 5 mission from French Guiana.

Integration for the second Ariane 5 launcher in 2013 was finished as the latest ATV – named after German-born physicist Albert Einstein – was encapsulated inside the 17-meter tall payload fairing at the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building.  This component is designed to protect spacecraft passengers during the heavy-lift launcher’s initial ascent through the atmosphere.

Utilizing the Ariane 5 ES version, this mission has a precise scheduled liftoff time June 5 at 6:52:13 p.m. local time in French Guiana from the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch complex. The heavy-lift workhorse will inject its ATV payload into a circular orbit at an altitude of 260 km., inclined 51.6 degrees for the spacecraft’s International Space Station (ISS) servicing mission.

Following the release from its Ariane 5 vehicle at 1 hour, 3 minutes and 53 seconds after liftoff, ATV Albert Einstein will rendezvous with the International Space Station for up to six months docked at the orbital facility for its resupply duties, as well as re-boosting the ISS to its nominal orbit when necessary.

Designated Flight VA213 in Arianespace’s numbering system, this mission represents the 213th launch of an Ariane family vehicle and will be the 69th flight of the heavy-lift Ariane 5. With a mass of more than 20 tons, ATV Albert Einstein will be the heaviest payload ever lofted by an Ariane 5.

Arianespace launched three other ATVs with flights performed in March 2008, February 2011 and March 2012.  The European Space Agency oversees the ATV program, with an Astrium-led industry consortium responsible for producing the resupply spacecraft.

 

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