Arianespace’s Ariane 5 mission with the Astra 3B and ComsatBw-2 satellite payloads is on track for a liftoff on the evening of May 21st, following the heavy-lift vehicle’s rollout to the launch zone at the Spaceport in French Guiana yesterday morning.
Riding atop its mobile launch table, Ariane 5 emerged from the Final Assembly Building under a sunny French Guiana sky and was transferred to the launch pad to be secured in place.
This flight will mark another of Arianespace’s missions with a mixed civilian/military payload, as Astra 3B is to provide DTH services, while ComsatBw-2 will serve as a secure relay spacecraft for the delivery of
key telecommunications capacity to Germany’s armed forces.
Astra 3B is riding in the upper position of the launcher’s payload “stack” and will be deployed at just under 28 minutes into the flight, with ComsatBw-2 located below it in the SYLDA 5 dispenser for a separation at 33
minutes after liftoff.
The May 21 launch follows a number of failed attempts after an anomaly was found in the Ariane 5 rocket. The launch can be followed live on a webcast from Arianespace, which can be accessed here. The broadcast will start at 21.41 GMT. Before the live webcast, a brief documentary is continuously showing. After ther launch, a video of the launch will be shown.