Press Release

Another Ariane 5 is readied at Europe’s Spaceport

By SpaceRef Editor
November 22, 2005
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The Ariane 5 Generic for Arianespace’s next mission is taking shape at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana as preparations move forward for a scheduled launch in the second half of December.

Build-up of the vehicle began with the removal of Ariane 5’s cryogenic central stage from its protective shipping container, followed by the stage’s vertical orientation inside the Spaceport’s vehicle assembly building. The stage was then hoisted into positioned over the mobile launch table, where it will be mated with the two solid rocket motors.

The cryogenic stage is core of Ariane 5’s propulsion system. Powered by the Vulcain main engine, the stage is ignited first on the launch pad – and once its power-up is validated by computers, the ignition order is given for the two solid rocket motors.

Both the cryogenic stage and the two rocket motors provide the necessary climb-out thrust for Ariane 5’s initial ascent. The rocket motors are jettisoned at about 2 minutes into the flight, while the cryogenic stage continues to burn for approximately 7 more minutes. The mission’s final propulsive phase is handed by the storable propellant upper stage, which delivers the satellite passengers into geostationary transfer orbit.

The December flight will mark another dual-payload mission for Ariane 5, which will carry the no. 2 Meteosat Second Generation (MSG-2) meteorological satellite for Europe, along with the INSAT 4A telecommunications spacecraft for the Indian Space Research Organisation. Both satellites are undergoing their final checkout in the Spaceport’s S5 payload preparation facility.

SpaceRef staff editor.