Mission Update

Mission Update

Build-up begins for the fifth Ariane 5 to be launched in 2009

July 24, 2009

The Spaceport is once again hosting two parallel Ariane 5 mission campaigns in support of Arianespace’s goal to perform a record seven flights this year with its workhorse heavy-lift launcher.

A fifth Ariane 5 for 2009 began taking shape this week in the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building, starting with the core cryogenic stage’s erection and the mating of its initial solid propellant booster.  The activity is in parallel with ongoing preparations for the year’s fourth Ariane 5 mission, which will be performed in August with a vehicle that currently is in the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building. 

See images below for highlights from the startup of integration with the newest Ariane 5 in French Guiana.  (Click on the images for the larger version):

The first of two solid propellant boosters for the fifth Ariane 5 of 2009 begins the rollout process from its production and assembly zone at the Spaceport.  The booster is built up on a pallet that is transferred via the facility’s rail system to the Launcher Integration Building, where it is integrated on the Ariane 5’s mobile launch table.

This close-up image shows the Ariane 5’s core cryogenic stage being raised into the vertical position after being removed from its shipping container.  The core stage is then hoisted into position over Ariane 5’s mobile launch table inside the Launcher Integration Building, allowing the two solid boosters to be mated with it.

The core cryogenic stage has been mated with the first of its two solid propellant boosters as the new Ariane 5 takes shape in the Spaceport’s Launcher Assembly Building.  This vehicle is being built up on one of two operational mobile launch tables for Arianespace’s heavy-lift vehicle.  The other launch table currently is in the Final Assembly Building at the Spaceport, where the fourth Ariane 5’s integration has been completed and the vehicle is being readied for its two passengers: the Optus D3 and JCSAT-12 telecommunications satellites.


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