Status Report

Mission Update: Flight 140 March 5: The Ariane 5 is ready for launch

By SpaceRef Editor
March 6, 2001
Filed under ,

The launch campaign for Arianespace’s first Ariane 5 mission of 2001 enters
its final phase this week as preparations remain on track for a Thursday
evening liftoff from French Guiana.

Pierre-Franáois Benaiteau, Arianespace Launch Site Operations Manager for
Flight 140, said the Ariane 5’s storable propellant upper stage and its
attitude control system were fueled last week, and final closeout of access
panels on the vehicle was being performed today.

One of the last steps is arming the launcher to bring it to the flight-ready

“We’re all set to roll out the Ariane 5 at 6 a.m. on Wednesday morning,”
Benaiteau said. “Once the vehicle is in the launch zone, we will be ready
for the final countdown for Thursday’s 7:51 p.m. liftoff.”

While last week was a festive one as French Guiana celebrated the annual
carnival, work continued on the Ariane 5 so that all would be ready for
Thursday’s launch.

Flight 140’s dual payload is the Eutelsat EUROBIRD satellite (built by an
Alcatel-led consortium) and BSAT-2a from Orbital Sciences Corp.
(manufacturer and supplier to Japanese telecom operator B-SAT).

The two spacecraft have a combined payload weight of approximately 4,370 kg.
at liftoff.

SpaceRef staff editor.