Press Release

Ariane 5 ECA moves to the launch zone for countdown validation tests

By SpaceRef Editor
October 8, 2004
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Flight 164’s Ariane 5 ECA has been transferred to the launch zone for final
validation tests, which will include fueling the vehicle’s cryogenic upper
stage. Emerging from the Spaceport’s final integration building atop its
mobile launch table yesterday (October 6), the heavy-lift Ariane 5 moved
along a twin-rail track under sunny French Guiana skies.

In the launch zone, final countdown procedures with the Ariane 5 ECA will be
validated, including fueling of the vehicle’s ESC-A cryogenic upper stage.
While this stage is new for the "10-ton" Ariane 5 ECA version, it uses the
proven third stage HM-7B engine that provided years of reliable service on
Ariane 4.

The stage is fueled through a set of arms installed on the upper portion of
the mobile launch table’s fixed mast.

Once the validation tests are completed, Flight 164’s Ariane 5 ECA will move
back to the final assembly building for the installation of its
multi-component payload.

The Ariane 5 ECA has a 10-metric ton payload lift capability to
geostationary transfer orbit, providing increased performance for
cost-effective dual launches by Arianespace with the large telecom satellite
payloads of today and tomorrow.

For Flight 164, the Ariane 5 ECA will carry XTAR-EUR (a 3,600-kg. satellite
that will serve the needs of U.S., Spanish and allied governments with
wideband and high-power X-band transponders), and an experimental/test
payload consisting of the Sloshsat mini satellite and the Maqsat B2
telemetry/video imaging package.

SpaceRef staff editor.