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Mission Preparations Move Forward For Next Ariane 5 Mission

File image.
by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) Jun 21, 2010
Ariane 5's ability to perform a full range of missions is underscored by preparation activity currently underway at the Spaceport in French Guiana.

Initial assembly of the third Ariane 5 to be launched in 2010 has been completed at the Spaceport as its ESC-A upper stage and vehicle equipment bay are now installed atop the vehicle's cryogenic core stage.

Build-up of the heavy-lift Ariane 5 was performed in the Spaceport's Launcher Integration Building. It is now being readied for transfer to the Final Assembly Building, which currently is occupied by an Ariane 5 scheduled for liftoff next Wednesday with the Arabsat-5A and COMS passengers on Arianespace's second flight of 2010.

For the year's third mission of 2010, this latest Ariane 5 is to carry the RASCOM-QAF 1R and NILESAT 201 telecommunications payloads.

Separately, Europe's next Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) is being readied for pre-launch checkout at the Spaceport in preparation for its liftoff on an upcoming Ariane 5 mission.

This Automated Transfer Vehicle, which is named after German astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler, will be the second such large spacecraft orbited by Arianespace for servicing of the International Space Station - following the Jules Verne ATV launched by an Ariane 5 in March 2008.

The ATV is designed to deliver food, air and water for the International Space Station's crew, along with experiment equipment and spare parts, as well as other hardware. It also is used to raise the station's orbit when necessary, and removes waste when undocked from the facility at the completion of its mission.

As the most sophisticated spacecraft ever built in Europe, the ATV will become the largest vehicle supplying the International Space Station once America's Space Shuttle fleet is retired.

The ATV is composed of two major spacecraft elements: the Integrated Cargo Carrier and Propulsion Module. When assembled, the resupply vessel is more than 10 meters tall.

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Ariane 5 Makes History With The ASTRA 3B And COMSATBw-2 Mission
Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) May 24, 2010
Arianespace delivered another dual-satellite payload into orbit with a milestone flight that utilized the 50th Ariane 5 launch vehicle. Lifting off from the Spaceport in French Guiana, this Ariane 5 ECA version successfully orbited the ASTRA 3B commercial telecommunications satellite for Luxembourg-based SES ASTRA, along with the COMSATBw-2 secure military relay spacecraft for Astrium GmbH ... read more

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