Initial assembly is completed for Arianespace’s fifth Ariane 5 to be launched in 2012
Arianespace’s fifth heavy-lift Ariane 5 for launch in 2012 has completed its initial build-up at the Spaceport in French Guiana, marking a new milestone in preparations for a September mission to orbit the Astra 2F and GSAT-10 satellites.
This assembly activity in the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building included installation of the ESC-A cryogenic upper stage and vehicle equipment bay as a single unit atop the Ariane 5’s cryogenic core stage.
The mission’s Astra 2F passenger was produced by the Astrium division of EADS for satellite operator SES, and is configured with Ku- and Ka-band transponders to enable the delivery of next-generation broadcast, VSAT and broadband services in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Also to be orbited by Ariane 5 is the Indian Space Research Organisation’s GSAT-10, which carries Ku- and C-band transponders for relay services, as well as the GAGAN (GPS and GEO augmented navigation) payload.
With this Ariane 5’s initial assembly now complete, the launcher is being readied for its transfer to the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building, where it will be fitted with the ASTRA 2F and GSAT-10 passengers. The Final Assembly Building currently houses the launcher for Arianespace’s next mission, configured with the Intelsat 20 and HYLAS 2 communications satellites, which is scheduled for liftoff on August 2.