The Ariane 5 flight with ATV Georges Lemaître enters its final countdown for liftoff tonight
Arianespace’s latest resupply mission for the International Space Station has entered its final countdown phase at the Spaceport, advancing preparations for tonight’s Ariane 5 liftoff with a record-setting Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) payload.
Arianespace’s Flight VA219 uses the Ariane 5 ES version of this heavy-lift workhorse, which will ascend from the ELA-3 launch complex at Europe’s Spaceport.
During a flight lasting one hour and four minutes – which includes multiple burns of the launcher’s EPS storable propellant upper stage – this ATV will be deployed into a circular orbit at an altitude of 260 kilometers, inclined 51.6 degrees.
Ariane 5’s liftoff from the Spaceport is set at precisely 8:47:38 p.m. local time in French Guiana, which has been calculated for its orbital phasing to rendezvous with the International Space Station.
The ATV – named after Belgian physicist Georges Lemaître – will be the heaviest-ever payload orbited by Ariane 5, with a liftoff mass greater than 20 metric tons. ATV Georges Lemaître is Europe’s fifth, and final, Automated Transfer Vehicle for servicing of the crewed orbital facility.
Arianespace’s latest ATV mission in support of International Space Station operations is designated Flight VA219 in the company’s numbering system, and will utilize an Ariane 5 ES version of the heavy-lift workhorse.
Managed by the European Space Agency, the ATV program is part of Europe’s contribution to the International Space Station’s operation. The Automated Transfer Vehicle’s prime contractor is Airbus Defence and Space, which also has the role as Ariane 5 industrial architect.