Press Release

Flight 159 The final Ariane 4 takes shape

By SpaceRef Editor
January 22, 2003
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The last Ariane 4 launcher to be operated by Arianespace is nearly complete in the Spaceport’s vertical assembly building.

Launch of Flight 159 is set for the early morning hours of February 12 carrying the Intelsat 907 telecommunications satellite. Our photo report from Kourou, French Guiana provides highlights of the recent days’ activity (Click on the images for a larger version):
One of the Ariane 4’s large liquid boosters is moved into place for mating with the core first stage, while another booster is partly visible at the left foreground in the mated position. Flight 159 will use a 44L version of the Ariane 4 family, which is equipped with four liquid boosters for additional thrust at liftoff and during initial ascent. Each booster carries a green cloverleaf and the inscription “Good luck for the last flight.”

The ring-shaped vehicle equipment bay – which is the Ariane 4’s electronic “brain” – is hoisted inside the vertical assembly building for installation atop the third stage. This image provides a good view of Flight 159’s nearly complete launcher, including two of the four liquid strap-on boosters that are clustered around the first stage.  

Technicians from Astrium monitor the positioning of Ariane 4’s vehicle equipment on the launcher’s third stage. The vehicle equipment bay includes the on-board computer, which provides timing for mission events such as payload fairing jettison, engine cutoff and stage separation.

SpaceRef staff editor.