An Ariane 5 rocket stands at the ELA-3 launch zone at the Guiana Space Center. Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – J. Durrenberger
Arianespace is returning an Ariane 5 rocket — loaded with three U.S.-built satellites — back to its final assembly building in French Guiana to replace a suspect sensor on the vehicle that prompted officials to cancel a launch attempt Friday. Arianespace said Saturday the troubleshooting will take several days.
The European-built launcher was set for takeoff Friday from the Guiana Space Center on the northeastern shore of South America. But the automated countdown stopped around two minutes prior to launch time after a problem with a sensor on the Ariane 5’s first stage liquid hydrogen tank.
“Ariane 5 is being transferred back to the Final Assembly Building (BAF), where a spare sensor will be set up and a new flight program uploaded to the launcher,” Arianespace said in a statement Saturday. “These additional operations, and those that follow, will take several days. In the meantime, the Ariane 5 launch vehicle and its three spacecraft payloads are in stable and safe conditions.”
Arianespace, the French launch service provider, said officials are firming up the troubleshooting ...