Arianespace’s ability to support the sustained launch pace for its heavy-lift Ariane 5 is being demonstrated once again as vehicles for the next three missions are now together in French Guiana.
Elements for the latest Ariane 5 were delivered to the Spaceport this week aboard the MN Colibri, which is one of two sea-going roll-on/roll-off ships that carry Arianespace launchers from Europe to South America.
This Ariane 5 will be used for a dual-passenger mission later in 2012 on Arianespace’s fourth heavy-lift launch of the year, which is designated VA208 – for the 208th flight of an Ariane family launcher.
It will follow the scheduled May 15 liftoff of VA206, whose Ariane 5 launcher is in the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building awaiting the integration of its JCSAT-13 and VINASAT-2 satellites; and VA207, set for June 19, carrying the Meteosat Second Generation-3 (MSG-3) and EchoStar XVII payloads. The Ariane 5 for VA207 has completed its initial build-up in the Launcher Integration Building at the Spaceport.
Arianespace opened its 2012 activity with the VA205 Ariane 5 mission on March 23, orbiting the Edoardo Amaldi Automated Transfer Vehicle for servicing of the International Space Station.
Date: May 6, 2012