Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Europe's Ariane 5 awaits second launch try tonight

Ariane 5 on Tuesday evening after it's scrub. (arianespace)

Arianespace will try again this evening to launch the flagship of the European Space Agency on a multi-satellite delivery flight.

High upper level winds scrubbed last night's launch attempt of the Ariane at the T-7 minute mark.

The launch countdown began this morning, leading up toward fueling of the Ariane 5's main cryogenic first stage at 11:36 am EST, with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen fuels.

Launch is set for the opening of a 59 minute window at 4:27 pm (6:27 pm local) from the Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

The current weather forecast calls for scattered clouds at 2,300 feet, and a chance of thunderstorms in the hours before launch time. The weather worsens into New Year's Day and the weekend.

The Ariane heavy lift rocket will deliver two telecommunications satellites into geostationary orbit, the HISPASAT 1E and KOREASAT 6, beginning twenty-seven minutes into the flight.

Tonight's launch will mark the 55th flight of an Ariane 5 and the sixth of the year.

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