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Ariane Readies To Launch Intelsat 906 (Aug. 26)

Flight 154 entered its final preparation phase today as its Ariane 4 rolled out from the assembly building and moved to the launch zone. The mission is scheduled for an early morning liftoff from the Spaceport on September 6, carrying the Intelsat 906 satellite built by Space Systems/Loral.

Flight 154 will use one of the last Ariane 4s before this workhorse launcher family is succeeded by the new-generation Ariane 5.

Today's rollout followed the procedure used many times before, with Ariane 4 emerging from the vertical assembly building on its mobile launch table (first photo in series at right).

A special multi-purpose tug towed the table and launcher along a dual rail track (center photo), arriving at the launch zone's fixed umbilical mast (photo at right). Once the table was locked in position, a large service tower was moved into position, covering the entire launcher and providing the clean room area for installation of the Intelsat payload and protective fairing atop Ariane 4.

The mission utilizes the 44L version of Ariane 4, which is equipped with four large liquid strap-on boosters to augment the thrust at liftoff and initial ascent.

Flight 154 will be the 22nd launch of an Intelsat satellite by Ariane, and its Intelsat 906 payload is the sixth in the new-generation Intelsat IX family of advanced telecommunications spacecraft.

Arianespace Flight 154 Another Ariane 4 Moves To The Launch Zone