Launcher assembly begins for Ariane 5 Flight VA218
Activity is continuing in French Guiana to support Arianespace’s busy 2014 launch schedule, with initial launcher buildup procedures underway for Flight VA218’s Ariane 5 vehicle.
As part of familiar pre-launch preparations inside the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building, the launcher’s core cryogenic stage has been removed from its protective shipping container and hoisted into position over one of two operational mobile launch tables available for Ariane 5.
Subsequently during separate rollouts, the vehicle’s two solid propellant boosters were moved via rail on pallets from their dedicated on-site assembly facility to the Launcher Integration Building, in preparation for mating with the core stage.
This Ariane 5 launcher will be used on Arianespace’s 218th Ariane-series mission – designated Flight VA218 – which is to carry two passengers: the Optus 10 spacecraft for Australian operator Optus, and Asia-Pacific provider MEASAT Global’s MEASAT-3b satellite.