Ariane 5 rolls out to the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building in preparation for its November 17 liftoff
Arianespace’s sixth Ariane 5 for launch this year is ready to receive its multi-satellite payload after being transferred to the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building in French Guiana.
The heavy-lift workhorse rolled out yesterday from the Launcher Integration Building – where its core cryogenic stage, two solid boosters and upper stage were mated by production prime contractor Airbus Safran Launchers – to the Final Assembly Building, marking the formal handover to Arianespace.
Now under Arianespace’s responsibility, the launcher – an Ariane 5 ES version – is set for integration of its payload: four global positioning satellites for Europe’s Galileo navigation system.
An Ariane 5 launch for Europe
The upcoming Ariane 5 launch, designated Flight VA233 in Arianespace’s numbering system, is set for a morning departure from the Spaceport on November 17 at an exact liftoff time of 10:06:48 a.m. in French Guiana.
Weighing between 715 kg. and 717 kg. each, the quartet of European Galileo satellites will have a combined liftoff mass of 2,865 kg., and they will be deployed by Ariane 5 into circular orbit during a mission lasting just under four hours.
The Galileo satellites were built by OHB System in Bremen, Germany, with their navigation payloads provided by Surrey Satellite Technology in the United Kingdom.