DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY VISITS FRENCH GUIANA

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.

ARIANESPACE MARKS ANOTHER SUCCESS FOR 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.

ARIANE 5 MOVES TO THE LAUNCH ZONE IN PREPARATION FOR TOMORROW’S LIFTOFF

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).

LAUNCH READINESS FOR MILESTONE ARIANE 5 MISSION IS VALIDATED

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.