Maintaining the mission pace: three Ariane 5s are at the Spaceport in French Guiana
Three Ariane 5 launch vehicles are now at the Spaceport in French Guiana as Arianespace ramps up the 2010 mission pace with its heavy-lift workhorse.
The launcher for Arianespace’s next mission currently is in the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building, where it is awaiting the integration of its Arabsat-5A and COMS dual-satellite payload. This flight is scheduled for June 23, and will mark the second flight of an Ariane 5 in 2010.
Arianespace’s third Ariane 5 for liftoff in 2010 is beginning to take shape in the Launcher Integration Building at the Spaceport. Its build-up process began on June 8 with the erection of Ariane 5’s core cryogenic stage, which subsequently will be fitted with the two solid propellant boosters and upper composite – which consists of the cryogenic upper stage and equipment bay. This Ariane 5 will orbit the RASCOM-QAF 1R and NILESAT 201 telecommunications payloads.
Components for the fourth Ariane 5 to be operated by Arianespace in 2010 were delivered to the Spaceport this earlier week after completing their trans-Atlantic voyage from Europe. This launcher was brought to French Guiana aboard the MN Colibri, which is one of two sea-going vessels used by Arianespace to transport its Ariane launch vehicles from Europe to South America.
Arianespace is targeting a total of six to seven Ariane 5 missions in 2010, providing the payload lift capability to meet its growing order book.