Status Report

Ariane 5 Change-out of ground system component puts the launch on track for February 12

By SpaceRef Editor
February 10, 2005
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Change-out of ground system component puts the launch on track for February 12

┬áThe replacement of a connector to the Ariane 5 ECA heavy-lift launch vehicle has allowed the countdown to pick up for Flight 164’s liftoff of on Saturday, February 12 from the Spaceport in French Guiana.

The hardware replacement involved a liquid hydrogen purge valve connector to Ariane 5’s cryogenic upper stage. An anomaly with this element of the ground support equipment was detected during final checkout of the vehicle, leading to yesterday’s decision to postpone the launch by 24 hours.

Ariane 5 remains inside the launcher Final Assembly Building at the Spaceport, where the vehicle and its payload are maintained in safe mode. The launcher is surrounded by the many levels of work scaffolding, which provided full access to the upper stage for the connector’s change-out.

With the new scheduling, Fight 164’s Ariane 5 will be transferred from the Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone on February 11. Liftoff on the following day is set at the start of a launch window that opens at 4:49 p.m. (local time at the Spaceport) and runs to 6:10 p.m.

Flight 164 will carry the XTAR-EUR X-band telecommunications satellite as its primary payload. Also aboard the launcher are the Sloshsat demonstrator spacecraft and the Maqsat-B2 test payload.

SpaceRef staff editor.