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Ariane 5 Launch Scrubbed Again

File photo: Ariane 5 lifts off - December 21st, 2005.
by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) March 9, 2006
Mission controllers have cancelled the launch of the Ariane 5 rocket. They made the decision following a low-pressure reading in the launcher's cryogenic upper stage during the final countdown, Arianespace said in a statement.

Jean-Yves Le Gall, the company’s chief executive officer, said launch team members were unable to bring the pressure back to a level acceptable for liftoff, and so controllers decided to stop the operations for further investigation, and further updates will be provided when new information is available.

Both the Ariane 5 and its dual-satellite payload consisting of the HOT BIRD 7A and SPAINSAT telecommunications spacecraft were placed in a safe condition on the ELA-3 launch pad at Europe's Spaceport, the company said.

The Ariane 5 ECA is the latest and considered most powerful member of the Ariane 5 family. Its payload lift capacity is 9,600 kilograms (21,100 pounds) to geostationary transfer orbit.

Liftoff mass of the HOT BIRD 7A spacecraft is 4,100 kilograms (9,000 lbs.), while SPAINSAT weighs approximately 3,680 kg (8,110 lbs).

Ariane 5 ECA follows the Ariane 5 Generic launcher version, which carries 6,700 kg (14,800 lb) payloads to GTO and has logged 16 successful missions.

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Ariane 5 Given Dress Rehearsal For Thursday Launch
Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) March 8, 2006
Technicians gave the Ariane 5 ECA heavy-lift rocket a full dress rehearsal Monday, in anticipation of Thursday's launch of its payload of two satellites.

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