Maintaining Arianespace’s launch rate: the first Ariane 5 for 2009 arrives at the Spaceport
October 29, 2008
Preparations are starting for another busy year of Arianespace launch activity, with the initial Ariane 5 of 2009 now delivered to the Spaceport in French Guiana.
The heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA arrived this week aboard the MN Colibri, one of two ocean-going vessels that transport launch vehicles from their European manufacturers to South America. After docking at the Pariacabo port near Kourou, the Ariane 5’s components were unloaded and transported by road to the Spaceport.
This launcher will be used in the first of up to eight Ariane 5 missions targeted in 2009, continuing the sustained launch rate for Arianespace’s workhorse launcher.
So far in 2008, Ariane 5 has performed five flights, with one additional mission scheduled before year-end. Arianespace has already demonstrated its capability to accelerate Ariane 5’s launch cadence with the nine fights performed in a 12-month period from August 2007 to August 2008.