The second Ariane 5 mission of the year is preparing for liftoff from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana, in South America on a rideshare mission that will launch the GEO-KOMPSAT-2B and JCSAT-17 satellites for South Korea and Japan, respectively.
The 62 minute launch window opens at 22:18 UTC and closes at 23:20 UTC, which converts to 17:18 EST to 18:20 EST.
The heavy lift champion of the European rocket family, Ariane 5 is the current iteration of the Ariane rocket and has been flying since 1996 with 106 missions (not counting this one) to its credit.
Unique among the rocket world, Ariane 5’s launch countdown actually reaches zero before its liquid fueled core stage engine, Vulcain 2, is ignited on the pad for 6.3 seconds of time to ramp up to full thrust and undergo health checkouts.
Once the on-board flight computers confirm the health of the Vulcain 2 engine, the commands are sent to light the two massive solid rocket boosters flanking the core stage, permitting liftoff underneath 13,000 kN (2,922,516 lbf) of thrust from the boosters and Vulcain 2 engine.
The Ariane 5 configuration for this mission. (Credit: Arianespace)
After clearing the ...