Herschel’s Visual Monitoring Camera captured a unique series of in-flight photos of the SYLDA 5 payload dispenser’s jettison during Ariane 5’s latest mission success. The images – which are part of an animated sequence created by the European Space Agency – were taken at an altitude of more than 1,000 km. above Africa.
On a visit to French Guiana last week to witness the successful launch of his agency’s Herschel and Planck spacecraft, European Space Agency Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain was updated on preparations for the upcoming introduction of the medium-lift Soyuz and lightweight Vega at the Spaceport. Dordain also toured the new launch facilities for both vehicles, accompanied by Arianespace Chairman & CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall.
The payload for Ariane 5’s third launch of 2009 has landed in French Guiana, arriving aboard an An-124 cargo aircraft from its U.S. production site in Palo Alto, California. TerreStar-1 – the world’s largest commercial satellite ever to be launched – will be lofted on a dedicated Ariane 5.
Arianespace completed its second Ariane 5 flight of 2009 this morning, placing the Herschel space telescope and the Planck observatory on their way to deep space missions that will help unlock some of the universe’s mysteries. This 44th mission for Ariane 5 – the first with payloads destined for the Sun-Earth system’s second Lagrange point – is the 30th consecutive success for the heavy-lift launch vehicle.
Fully integrated with its dual space science payload of Herschel and Planck, Ariane 5 rolled out of its final assembly building this morning and was secured in place on the ELA-3 launch zone at Europe’s Spaceport. The heavy-lift vehicle’s second mission of 2009 is now ready for final pre-launch preparations and countdown to a rare morning liftoff tomorrow, May 14 at 10:12 a.m. (local time in French Guiana).
Ariane 5’s deep space science mission has been given the green light for liftoff after a successful launch readiness review of the heavy-lift vehicle, its Herschel and Planck payloads, the Spaceport’s infrastructure and the network of downrange tracking stations. This validation clears the way for tomorrow’s rollout of the vehicle from its final assembly building to the ELA-3 launch zone.
The second Ariane 5 for launch this year is now complete following installation of its payload fairing over the May 14 mission’s passengers, Herschel and Planck. This milestone clears the way for final preparation and arming of the launch vehicle, which will be followed by Ariane 5’s roll-out to the launch pad on May 13.
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The Herschel space telescope has joined its Planck observatory co-passenger on Ariane 5 at Europe’s Spaceport. Preparations for the heavy-lift vehicle’s May 14 launch from French Guiana now enter their final phase, which includes a “top-up” of liquid helium in Herschel’s cryostat cooling system.