Hot Bird 7a TM and Spainsat fuelling

February 6, 2006

The heavy-lift Ariane 5 moves to the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building

Arianespace’s first Ariane 5 launch campaign for 2006 has entered a new phase with the vehicle’s transfer to the Final Assembly Building, where it will be fitted with the mission’s dual-satellite payload.

The transfer from the Launcher Integration Building – where the Ariane 5 underwent its initial buildup – to the final assembly facility occurred on Saturday. Installed on its mobile launch table, the Ariane 5 was rolled out on the dual rail track that interconnects the major elements of the ELA-3 launch complex at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

With the Ariane 5 now in the Final Assembly Building, all is set for the integration of its two satellite passengers – Hisdesat’s SPAINSAT governmental X-band telecommunications satellite for the Spanish Defense Ministry, and Eutelsat’s HOT BIRD TM 7A spacecraft for the broadcast of television and radio programming to cable distribution systems and homes.

The upcoming mission is set for February 21, and will use the Ariane 5 ECA heavy-lift launcher version.


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