[SatNews] The fourth Ariane 5 for launch in 2010 continues to take shape at the Spaceport in French Guiana, as Arianespace maintains its mission pace for the heavy-lift workhorse.
Using the workflow that has been applied for the previous 52 Ariane 5s assembled to date, the build-up of this latest vehicle began with the erection of its core cryogenic stage inside the Spaceport's Launcher Integration Building, which occurred earlier in the week. The next step is the mating of the launcher's two solid rocket motors, which are installed on each side of the core cryogenic stage. This will be followed by a "topping off" of the vehicle with its ESC-A cryogenic upper
stage and the vehicle equipment bay. Then, the Ariane 5 will be transferred to the Final Assembly Building for
integration of its dual-satellite payload, which is currently occupied by an Ariane 5 to be launched next week with a pair of telecommunications satellites to serve Africa and the Middle East: the NILESAT 201 direct broadcast spacecraft for Egyptian operator Nilesat; and the RASCOM-QAF1R communications satellite for pan-African operator RascomStar-QAF. Both
payloads were built by Thales Alenia Space and they are scheduled for liftoff from the Spaceport on August 4th.