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Ariane 5 May 17, 2011

Initial “top-off” is performed with the fourth Ariane 5 for launch this year

Installation of the Ariane 5’s upper composite – which consists of its ESC-A cryogenic upper stage and vehicle equipment bay – is highlighted in this series of photos. The component is readied in the Launcher Integration Building’s dock area (photo at left). A close-up image details the cryogenic upper stage’s HM-7B engine nozzle (second photo from left) as the upper composite is hoisted for transfer to the Ariane 5, which is partially visible in the background of the third photo. At right, the component is moved into position for integration atop Ariane 5’s core cryogenic stage.

The second of two Ariane 5 mission campaigns currently underway at the Spaceport has reached a new milestone with the completion of its vehicle’s basic build-up in French Guiana.

During activity in the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building, this Ariane 5 was initially topped-off with the incorporation of its ESC-A cryogenic upper stage and the vehicle equipment bay – which were installed as a single unit.

The Ariane 5 is now ready for its transfer to the adjacent Final Assembly Building, where Arianespace will take delivery of the launcher for installation of two TV broadcast and telecommunications relay satellites: BSAT-3c/JCSAT-110R and ASTRA 1N. It will be used on the fourth Ariane 5 launch of 2011.

Arianespace currently has another Ariane 5 in the Final Assembly Building, which will roll out May 19 for a liftoff the following day with its own dual-passenger payload, consisting of the ST-2 and GSAT-8 satellites.

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Ariane 5 May 17, 2011

The upcoming Ariane 5 mission with GSAT-8 and ST-2 is given its “go” for launch

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