Activity for the next two Ariane 5 missions is underway at the Spaceport
Launcher components for the third Arianespace Ariane 5 mission of 2013 have been delivered to French Guiana, while payload preparations for this year’s second heavy-lift flight have marked a new milestone at the Spaceport.
ATV Albert Einstein is “topped off” in the S5A fueling and integration hall of the Spaceport’s S5 payload preparation building for its upcoming launch on Ariane Flight VA213.
The Ariane 5 to be used for Arianespace’s no. 3 flight with its workhorse vehicle in 2013 arrived aboard the MN Colibri, which is one of two roll-on/roll-off ships used to transport Arianespace launchers from Europe to South America. This will be the 214th mission of an Ariane family vehicle – with the mission designated Flight VA214 – and is scheduled for a July liftoff with two satellite passengers.
In parallel, the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) for Flight VA213 is undergoing fueling in the Spaceport’s S5 payload preparation facility. Flight VA213’s Ariane 5 is set for launch on June 5, and will carry the fourth ATV to be orbited by Arianespace for the European Space Agency.
This latest ATV is named after Albert Einstein, and will weigh approximately 20 metric tons at launch. It is to carry some 6,270 kg. of fuel, water, air, oxygen and dry cargo to the International Space Station, where the ATV also will serve to adjust the orbital facility’s altitude and make maneuvers to avoid collisions with space debris.
The series of ATVs is built by an industry team led by Astrium, which also is the industrial prime contractor for Ariane 5.
Arianespace is responsible for launching all ATVs, and has orbited three of them to date: ATV Edoardo Amaldi in 2012, ATV Johannes Kepler in 2011 and ATV Jules Verne in 2008.