THE MASSIVE ARIANE 5 READIES TO FLY THE ABS-2 & ATHENA FIDUS COMMUNICATION SATELLITES.
Photo By: Arianespace of the Johannes Kepler (ATV-2) Ariane 5 launch vehicle: CLICK photo to view full size and see below for links.
Thursday, February 6th at 2030 UTC (1530 EST) Arianespace will be launching the massive Ariane 5 ECA Rocket (designated Flight VA217) with a dual payload of communication satellites (ABS 2 & Athena Fidus) from Launch Site ELA-3 at the Arianespace Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
The two payloads will fly in a stack formation inside the payload fairing with the ABS-2 communications satellite riding atop the Athena Fidus communication satellite.
Ariane 5 is a 2-stage expendable launch vehicle that carries payloads weighing more than 10 metric tons to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) and over 20 metric tons into low-Earth orbit (LEO).
Ariane 5 ECA is the heavy-lift workhorse for missions to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), and usually carries two satellite payloads. The Ariane 5 ES is tailored for low-Earth orbit missions with the Automated Transfer Vehicle – a resupply spacecraft for the International Space Station that weighs more than 19,000 kg at liftoff. This Ariane 5 version also is capable of lofting satellites for Europe’s new Galileo space-based navigation system.
The primary difference from the Ariane 5 ECA configuration is the use of a storable propellant upper stage, which can perform multiple burns to deploy payloads into the desired orbit.
ARIANE 5 ECA CONFIGURATION EXPLAINED…….
ARIANE5 ECA = Heavy lift rocket that stands 53m (173.8ft) tall and is 5.4m (17.7ft) in diameter.
PAYLOAD FAIRING = The main payload fairing is a 2-shell fairing that’s 5.4m (17.7ft) in diameter and 17m (55.7ft) in length.
SECOND STAGE = Also called the Cryogenic Upper Stage or Etage Superieur Cryotechnique (ESC-A) is 5.4m (17.7ft) in diameter by 4.7m (15.4ft) in length. It’s powered by a single HM7B engine that burns liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen (LOX/LH2) creating 14,000lb of thrust. Burn time for the second stage varies depending on the mission.
SOLID ROCKET BOOSTERS = 2 expendable SRBs known as Etage dAcceleration a Poudre or just (EAPs) are attached to the Ariane 5 and they provide about 90% of the thrust at liftoff. They each stand 31.6m (103.7ft) tall and are 3m (10ft) in diameter. They are each powered by a single engine that burns solid fuel (Ammonium Perchlorate, Aluminum Powder and Polybutadiene); burn time is 129 seconds.
MAIN CORE STAGE (1st Stage) = The Core Stage, known as Etage Principal Cryotechnique or (EPC-E) stands 23.8m (78ft) high and has a diameter of 5.4m (17.7ft). It’s powered by a single 1-Vulcan engine that burns liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen (LOX/LH2) and burns for 650 seconds.
Live Streaming Launch: http://www.arianespace.tv/
VA-217 mission information: http://www.arianespace.com/news-mission-update/2014/1127.asp
Arianespace on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Arianespace
Arianespace on Instagram: http://instagram.com/arianespace
European Space Agency (ESA) Twitter: https://twitter.com/esa
Ariane 5 information and data sheets: http://www.arianespace.com/launch-services-ariane5/ariane-5-intro.asp
Ariane 5 User’s Manual: http://www.arianespace.com/launch-services-ariane5/Ariane-5-User’s-Manual.asp
Spaceport French Guiana: http://www.arianespace.com/spaceport-intro/overview.asp
Ariane 5 launch site: http://www.arianespace.com/spaceport-ariane5/overview.asp
European Space Agency (ESA) homepage: http://www.esa.int/ESA
European Space Agency (ESA) Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/europeanspaceagency/sets/
Arianespace Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/arianespace/
CNES website for this launch: http://www.cnes.fr/web/CNES-en/10082-follow-ariane-launch-live.php
Spaceflight 101 data on Ariane 5 ECA: http://www.spaceflight101.com/ariane-5-eca.html