Launch readiness review completed
26 September 2003
Yesterday, 25 September, the launch readiness review for V162 was held at the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
In the presence of Jean-Yves Le Gall (Director General of Arianespace), the launch vehicle, its payload (SMART-1 and its companions INSAT 3E and e-BIRD) and the ground infrastructure were all declared ready for a launch on 27 September with a launch window opening at 23:02 UT.
Today at 10:15 Kourou local time (13:15 UT) the Ariane 5 launch vehicle is due to roll out to the launch pad. Fuelling takes place on the pad, tomorrow, on the day of the launch.
Over the previous days SMART-1 and its two fellow passengers were integrated atop the Ariane 5 launch vehicle, in the Final Assembly Building at Europe’s Spaceport.
The final integration process began on 17 September, when the SMART-1 lunar spacecraft was installed as Ariane 5's lower payload. SMART-1 is positioned inside a cylindrical-shaped dispenser, which provides the mounting interface for Eutelsat's e-BIRD spacecraft that sits atop it.
On 20 September Eutelsat's e-BIRD spacecraft was integrated atop Ariane 5, having been mounted on the cylindrical-shaped dispenser that contains SMART-1. The Indian Space Research Organisation's INSAT 3E satellite was then installed atop its SYLDA 5 deployment dispenser. INSAT 3E is the uppermost satellite in the Flight 162 payload stack, riding atop the SYLDA 5 dispenser. This mission uses a lengthened version of SYLDA 5, which was stretched in order to fit over both e-BIRD and SMART-1.