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Arianespace Mission Update: The ATV Has Been Integrated On Its Ariane 5 Launcher

The ATV's liftoff on March 8 is planned at 1:23 a.m. local time in French Guiana.
by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) Feb 21, 2008
Ariane 5's largest payload ever has been integrated on the launch vehicle, taking Arianespace's upcoming historic mission with the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) one step closer to its March 8 liftoff. The integration process at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana began late last week, and was concluded with the spacecraft's power-up this weekend atop the launcher.

The European-built resupply spacecraft is to deliver propellant, oxygen, equipment, systems, food and water to the International Space Station. On its initial flight, the ATV has a liftoff mass of more than 19 metric tons.

Checkout of the ATV was completed in the clean room area of Ariane 5's Final Assembly Building. The payload was then hoisted to the building's upper level, where it was positioned for integration atop the launcher.

The ATV's liftoff on March 8 is planned at 1:23 a.m. local time in French Guiana. After its launch by Ariane 5, the ATV's high-precision navigation system will guide it to the International Space Station, with docking planned in early April.

This upcoming Ariane 5 flight will be the first of seven scheduled by Arianespace in 2008, meeting a growing international demand for the company's commercial launch services.

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ILS Proton Launches THOR 5 Satellite
Baikonur, Kazakhstan (SPX) Feb 12, 2008
A Proton launch vehicle successfully lifted the THOR 5 satellite into orbit today, marking the first mission of the year for International Launch Services (ILS), and the second Proton flight in two weeks.

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