The last Ariane 5 assembled
The last Ariane 5 assembled
© S. Martin / CNES / ESA / Arianespace / Optique Vidéo du CSG

The last Ariane 5 assembled

At the end of each week, a picture that made the news or caught our attention. In French Guiana, preparations continue for the final flight of the European heavy launcher.

27 years of history

At the Centre spatial guyanais (CSG), teams from ArianeGroup (prime contractor for the launcher) and Arianespace (commercial operator) are continuing preparations for the final flight of Ariane 5 (mission VA261).

This will bring to a close a remarkable epic, started 27 years ago, on June 4, 1996 (mission V501), representing 117 launches in total, commercial, institutional, to low, medium, geostationary and sometimes even distant orbits.


Two passengers for the last hurrah

On June 16, the European heavy launcher (in its ECA version) is due to carry two new telecommunications satellites (experimental and military) into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO): Heinrich Hertz (H2Sat), on behalf of DLR, the German Aerospace Center, and Syracuse 4B (Comsat-NG 2), on behalf of DGA.

Here, the launcher is in the BIL (Launcher Integration Building) of the CSG, with its two stages and lateral boosters.

This will be followed by its transfer to the BAF (Final Assembly Building), where it will receive its payloads and their protective fairing.

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