THE MASSIVE ARIANE-5 WITH A DUAL PAYLOAD LAUNCH THIS WEEK
Image Credit & Copyright: Arianespace of a previous Ariane 5 launch: CLICK photo for larger view and look below for mission information and more links than you will ever need to include a few to stream the launch live.
Saturday, March 22nd at 22:04 UTC (18:04 EDT & 15:04 PDT) Arianespace will be launching the massive and beautiful Ariane 5 ECA Rocket (designated Flight VA216) with a dual payload of communication satellites (ASTRA 5B & Amazonas 4A) from Launch Site ELA-3 at the Arianespace Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. This will be the 73rd flight of the Ariane 5 and 43rd the for the ECA configuration.
ASTRA 5 is a Ku & Ka Band television broadcasting satellite for SES of Luxembourg. It also provides L-Band navigation for the European Commission’s European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS). The Amazonas A4 satellite is a Ku-Band satellite that will provide television service for Hispasat of Madrid.
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 5.4 m. (17.7 ft.) in diameter and 20 m. (65.6 ft.) in length. Roughly 3 minutes and 100 km after liftoff the shells are pyrotechnically jettisoned. Inside is the structure that accommodates the two satellites called “Systeme de Lancement Double Ariane 5” or SYLDA 5.
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 6.5 t of thrust. Burn time for the second stage varies depending on the mission but can operate for around 945 seconds.
The second stage also houses the Vehicle Equipment Bay (VEB-C) or “The Brain” which controls the entire vehicle autonomously and also transmits flight data back to the ground.
SOLID ROCKET BOOSTERS = 2 expendable SRBs known as Etage dAcceleration a Poudre or (EAPs) are attached to the Ariane 5 and they provide about 90% of the thrust at liftoff which equates to about 1200 t of thrust. 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 135 seconds.
MAIN CORE STAGE (1st Stage) = The Core Stage, known as Etage Principal Cryotechnique or (EPC) stands 30 m. (98.4 ft.) high and has a diameter of 5.4m (17.7 ft.). It’s powered by a single Vulcan-2 engine which provides 136 t of thrust. It burns liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen (LOX/LH2) and burns for 540 seconds.
LIVE STREAMING FEEDS:
Live Streaming Launch: http://www.arianespace.tv/
Arianespace Livestream: http://www.livestream.com/arianespace
European Space Agency (ESA) Space In Videos: http://www.esa.int/spaceinvideos/esalive
European Space Agency (ESA) Livestream: http://www.livestream.com/eurospaceagency
CNES website for launch: http://www.cnes.fr/web/CNES-en/10082-follow-ariane-launch-live.php
MISSION DATA LINKS:
VA-216 mission information: http://www.arianespace.com/news-mission-update/2014/1144.asp
VA-216 Press Kit: http://www.arianespace.com/images/launch-kits/launch-kit-pdf-eng/VA216-ASTRA5B-AMAZONAS4A-GB.pdf
VA-216 Press Kit Poster: http://www.arianespace.com/images/launch-kits/poster-pics/VA216-launchkit-cover.pdf
Spaceflight 101 data on VA-216: http://www.spaceflight101.com/ariane-5-va216-launch-updates.html
Arianespace Homepage: http://www.arianespace.com
You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/arianespace
EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY (ESA) LINKS:
European Space Agency (ESA) homepage: http://www.esa.int/ESA
Google Plus: https://www.google.com/url?q=https://plus.google.com/%2BEuropeanSpaceAgency&sa=U&ei=n-grU6z-EIfn0gG444FQ&ved=0CBsQFjAA&usg=AFQjCNHgpdbCb_xjrqvpVQ1aLsljUpaFRQ
You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/ESA
SPACEPORT KOUROU, FRENCH GUIANA & ARIANE 5 DATA LINKS:
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
ESA Ariane 5 ECA data page: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Launchers/Launch_vehicles/Ariane_5_ECA2
Spaceflight 101 data on Ariane 5 ECA: http://www.spaceflight101.com/ariane-5-eca.html
Ariane 5 launch site: http://www.arianespace.com/spaceport-ariane5/overview.asp
Spaceport French Guiana: http://www.arianespace.com/spaceport-intro/overview.asp