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Ariane 5 April 23, 2012

Assembly begins for the third Ariane 5 to be launched in 2012

Ariane 5’s core cryogenic stage is lifted from its protective shipping container (photo at left) and raised over the mobile launch table in the Launcher Integration Building (center photo). At right, the first of two solid propellant boosters rolls out for its rendezvous and mating with the core stage.

The Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s third heavy-lift mission of 2012 is now taking shape at the Spaceport, using procedures that have become routine with this workhorse vehicle’s operations from French Guiana.

During activity inside the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building, the core cryogenic stage was removed from its protective shipping container and raised into position over one of two operational mobile launch tables available for Ariane 5.

The pair of solid propellant boosters was then anchored to the launch table on each side of the core stage this weekend, readying them for mating to complete the vehicle’s initial assembly step.

This Ariane 5 will be used on a flight scheduled for June 19 with Europe’s Meteosat Second Generation-3 (MSG-3) weather satellite for EUMETSAT (the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites); along with  the EchoStar XVII high-throughput telecommunications platform for Hughes Network Systems.

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Ariane 5 April 16, 2012

Another weather satellite payload is readied for launch by Arianespace

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