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Satnews Daily
June 6th, 2014

Arianespace—Georges Lemaître Getting Ready For Flight (Launch Preparations)

[SatNews] Arianespace has taken delivery of the Ariane 5 for its launch of Europe’s fifth Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) following the heavy-lift workhorse’s roll-out today from the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building to its Final Assembly Building in French Guiana.

In this photo, taken from the roof of Arianespace’s Galilee operations building at the Spaceport, Flight VA219’s Ariane 5 is transferred from the Launcher Integration Building (in foreground) to the Final Assembly Building, following a U-shaped rail link from one facility to the other.

Photo courtesy of Arianespace.

This transfer from industrial prime contractor Airbus Defence and Space to Arianespace followed completion of the Ariane 5’s initial build-up in the Launcher Integration Building.  The Ariane 5 ES version—tailored for LEO missions, including the ATV—was moved atop its mobile launch table via the Spaceport’s dual track rail line during the transfer process. Ariane 5’s Flight VA219 will loft Europe’s final ATV spacecraft—named Georges Lemaître after the Belgian physicist and father of the Big Bang theory—to resupply the International Space Station. ATV Georges Lemaître is to deliver fuel, air and more than 2,600 kg. of dry cargo to the manned orbital facility, as well as perform maneuvers to maintain the station’s nominal orbit and test new rendezvous sensors in space.

Managed by the European Space Agency, the ATV program is part of Europe’s contribution to the International Space Station’s operation. Leading a European industry team, Airbus Defence and Space—which also has the role as Ariane 5’s industrial architect—is prime contractor for the Automated Transfer Vehicle.

Follow Arianespace's launch activity at http://www.arianespace.com/.