Ariane Rocket goes from Strength to Strength

There could be no more fitting a name for this glorious masterpiece of European engineering than Ariane ( The Very Holy One ). The massive rocket sat on her launchpad at the French Guianan space-port of Kourou. Tucked  securely inside her  were the 5374kg Hispasat-1E and  the 2700kg Koreasat-6 satellites.Hispasat is a Spanish based telecommunications operator .Hispasat was built by Space Systems/Loral.The Hispasat 1E was developed to provide the latest in domestic  Ariel and terrestrial  digital television.A broadband integration system for mobile phones and notepads ect is included as is high definition video for environmental  monitoring. The second and smaller of the two satelites is the Orbital Sciences Corp. and Thales Alenia Space  built for the Republic of Korea’s KT Corporation.The KOREASAT 6 is to provide telecommunications coverage to the whole of South Korea.This brings to twelve the number of successful satellites launched by Ariane 5 this year 2010.The importance and reputation of the Ariane 5 launch system cannot be over emphasised,especially in light of the sad demise of  NASA ‘s overly expensive Space Shuttle program. The European Space Agency will in February of this year launch the ATV 002 Johannes Kepler ( Automated Transfer Vehicle ) that will rendezvous with the ISS ( International Space Station ).This rendezvous will be a resupply mission delivering a total pay load weight of approximately 8000kg. Among the resupply items will be 850-1000kg of fresh drinking water,150kg of Nirox ( a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen for respiration )and 4700kg of fuel and the remainder food.The ATV will remain attached to the ISS for a period of six months.In that time the astronauts will use the ATV as the worlds most expensive garbage bin filling it with 6000kg of space station waste! After the ATV has outlived her usefulness she will be cut free and sent on a steep angle of re-entry above the pacific ocean where she should safely burn up.The massive ATV is expected to replace the venerable Russian progress resupply vehicle as the ATV exceeds its payload by a factor of x3.The Russians will however continue to be the only nation currently equipped to fly crew to the ISS.It should be noted however that the ATV is rated for human flight ! Zero hour came at 1827 French Guiana local time,that is 2127 GMT. The flight was the sixth and final of 2010 and was without technical glitch or error. A perfect launch.