Ariane Readied for 200th Launch, Soyuz Heads Toward 1,800

Ariane 5 ECA for flight V184 climb away from the Guiana Space Centre on the evening of 7 July 2008.

ARIANESPACE PAO

Basic build-up of the milestone 200th Ariane for launch is now complete at the Spaceport, marking a new milestone in preparations for an Ariane 5 mission that will loft a European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) next February to service the International Space Station.

During activity in the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building, the Ariane 5 ES version of Arianespace’s heavy-lift workhorse was fitted with its equipment bay, followed by installation of the EPS upper stage.

With these steps completed, the Ariane 5 is ready for transfer to the Final Assembly Building, where the ATV – named after German astronomer/mathematician Johannes Kepler – will be installed.  The Final Assembly Building currently is occupied by an Ariane 5 ECA launcher version, which is waiting to receive its payload of the HISPASAT 1E and KOREASAT 6 telecommunications satellites for a liftoff scheduled on December 28 from French Guiana.

ROSCOSMOS PAO

Produced by Rocket Center Progress of Samara (TsSKB-Progress), Soyuz rocket marked its 1765th successful mission on Dec. 15,  TsSKB-Progress DG Alexander Kirilin said at Baikonur. To remind, Soyuz-FG modification injected into orbit Soyuz TMA-20 vehicle with three crew on Dec. 15, at 22.09 MSK.

Kirilin noted that 5 Soyuz modifications are in operation by the Russian Space Industry.

Soyuz-FG is featured by reliability ratio of 0,952.

Another ‘brother’-rocket in the Soyuz family, Soyuz-ST, is slated for its maiden launch from European space port in French Guiana next year.