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In an editorial published by space industry newspaper Space News, Jean-Yves Le Gall responds to satellite operators’ pressure on prices, as well as the push for new entrants to the launch services industry. In addition, Le Gall details Arianespace’s efforts to assure quality and bolster capacity within the launch sector.
A photo report details the latest preparations for Soyuz’ new operating base at the Spaceport in French Guiana. Now included in the launch site’s ground infrastructure is the Soyuz transporter/erector, which will deliver assembled vehicles from their assembly building to the launch pad – where the payloads will be integrated.
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Ariane 5’s lower passenger for its second mission of 2009 – the Planck space observatory – has been encapsulated in the SYLDA dispenser system, which allows the heavy-lift launcher to carry its dual space science payload. Planck will be joined on this upcoming flight from Europe’s Spaceport by Herschel, which is the largest space telescope ever launched.
The second Ariane 5 mission of 2009 is set for a May 14 liftoff, following additional checks on the heavy-lift launch vehicle. This flight will carry the Herschel telescope and Planck observatory – two European Space Agency-developed space science payloads that are designed to study the universe’s origins.
The Planck space observatory has been installed atop Ariane 5’s core stage as preparations for the second Arianespace mission of 2009 enter their final phase. Planck is riding in the lower position of the launcher’s dual payload “stack,” and will be situated below the Herschel space telescope – which is to be integrated next on Ariane 5.
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The Soyuz launch site in French Guiana received its “muscle” with the mounting of a system of four primary support arms and two umbilical masts for the medium-lift vehicle. This installation marked another important step in preparations for the introduction of Soyuz – which will join the heavy-lift Ariane 5 and future lightweight Vega – at its new Spaceport operating base.
The cryostat of the Herschel space telescope was loaded with liquid helium in preparation for its upcoming launch on Ariane 5. This high-tech cooling system will keep the temperature of Herschel’s scientific instrument detectors at absolute zero, which will help the payload gather data on the formation of stars and galaxies.