Integration begins with the next Ariane 5 to be launched from the Spaceport
The fourth Ariane 5 for launch in 2010 is now taking shape at the Spaceport in French Guiana as Arianespace maintains its mission pace for the heavy-lift workhorse.
Using the workflow that has been applied for the previous 52 Ariane 5s assembled to date, the build-up of this latest vehicle began with the erection of its core cryogenic stage inside the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building, which occurred earlier in the week.
The core cryogenic stage for the fourth Ariane 5 of 2010 is raised for positioning over its mobile launch table inside the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building.
The next step is the mating of the launcher’s two solid rocket motors, which are installed on each side of the core cryogenic stage. This will be followed by a “topping off” of the vehicle with its ESC-A cryogenic upper stage and the vehicle equipment bay.
All of this activity takes place in the Launcher Integration Building, after which the Ariane 5 will be transferred to the Final Assembly Building for integration of its dual-satellite payload.
The Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building currently is occupied by an Ariane 5 that will be launched next week with a pair of telecommunications satellites to serve Africa and the Middle East: the NILESAT 201 direct broadcast spacecraft for Egyptian operator Nilesat; and the RASCOM-QAF1R communications satellite for pan-African operator RascomStar-QAF. Both payloads were built by Thales Alenia Space, and they are scheduled for liftoff from the Spaceport on August 4.