Glossary of Launcher's Terms
Engine of the Ariane-5 upper storable propellant stage.
Furthest point from Earth of an orbit.
Ariane launch zone
Area at Europe's Spaceport from where the Ariane 5 lifts off.
The orientation of a spacecraft in relation to its direction of motion.
see Final Assembly Building
see Booster Engine Test Stand
see Launcher Integration Building
see Booster Integration Building
Boosters are added to a launcher to provide the main thrust at liftoff - they consist of a casing containing the propellant, a solid rocket motor and additional equipment such as the igniter and the forward skirt equipped with a recovery system. Etage d'accéleration à poudre (EAP).
Booster Casing Preparation Building
Building at the Spaceport where the booster casings are prepared. Batiment préparation étage (BPE).
Booster Engine Test Stand
Place where booster engines are tested at Europe's Spaceport. Banc d'essais des accélération à poudre (BEAP).
Booster Integration Building
Building at the Spaceport where the integration of the Ariane-5 solid booster stage takes place. Bâtiment d'intégration des propulseurs (BIP).
Booster Separation Rockets
These separate the booster from the launch vehicle after approximately two minutes flight.
Booster Storage Building
Place at Europe's Spaceport where the boosters are stored until needed. Bâtiment Stockage Etage (BSE).
Batiment stockage Etage see Booster Storage Building
Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales, French Space Agency.
Space network composed of multiple small satellites, generally placed in low Earth or intermediary orbits.
High performance propulsion that uses liquid hydrogen propellant and liquid oxygen as oxydiser.
Centre Spatial Guyanais - Guiana Space Centre also known as Europe's Spaceport.
Dispositif d'Accrochage Arrière - Rear booster attachment and release mechanism.
Dispositif d'Accrochage Avant - Forward booster attachment and release mechanism.
Etage Accélérateur à Poudre - see booster
Ariane-5 launch complex containing the Launcher Integration Building, the Final Assembly Building, the Solid Propellant Booster Integration Building and the propellant plants.
Etage Principal Cryogénique - see Main cryogenic stage.
Ensemble de Préparation des Charges Utiles - see Satellite Preparation Facility.
see Storable propellant stage
European Space Agency.
Used to protect satellites before and during the launch, and while crossing the lower levels of the atmosphere; it is jettisoned once the launcher leaves the Earth's orbit.
Final Assembly Building
Place at Europe's Spaceport where the launcher is finally assembled with the payload and checks are carried out. Bâtiment d'Assemblage Final (BAF).
see Geostationary orbit
An orbit which circles the Earth above the equator from east to west at an altitude of 36 000 km (GEO).
Geostationary transfer orbit
An elliptical orbit whose apogee is at approximately 36 000 km, used to place a satellite into GEO (GTO).
see Geostationary transfer orbit
Guiana Space Centre
The French Space Centre in French Guiana also known as Europe's Spaceport. Centre Spatial Guyanais (CSG).
A colourless basic liquid made from sodium hypochlorite and ammonia used chiefly as a rocket fuel.
This provides the mechanical interface between two launcher stages and also hosts the separation device, the thrust vector control electrical unit and the batteries.
Jupiter Control Centre
Ariane-5 mission control building.
The launcher is transferred to this area 48 hours before launch for final propellant filling, countdown and launch.
Launcher Integration Building
Place at Europe's Spaceport where the launcher's main stage is integrated with the boosters. Bâtiment d'Intégration Lanceur (BIL).
see Low Earth orbit
Facilities at Europe's Spaceport for producing liquid hydrogen for the Ariane-5 main cryogenic stage engine.
Low Earth orbit
Generally considered to be an orbit at an altitude of 400 to 1000 km (LEO).
Facilities at Europe's Spaceport for producing liquid oxygen for the Ariane-5 main stage and the Vulcain engine.
Main cryogenic stage
The main cryogenic stage of the Ariane 5 includes the cryogenic tank and the Vulcain engine; the duration of burnout is about 10 mins - the time needed for the launcher to leave the Earth's atmosphere. Etage Principal Cryotechnique (EPC).
Moteur Propergol Solide - the booster's solid rocket motor.
The path followed by a satellite around a celestial body.
P80 solid rocket motor
Vega's first stage motor with a combustion time of 107 s.
The useful mass that can be carried and injected into orbit by a launcher; it could be a satellite, a module or a capsule.
A device used to support satellites.
Point of an orbit closest to the Earth.
An orbit that passes over the polar regions from north to south.
Satellite Preparation Facility
Complex at Europe's Spaceport where satellites are prepared for launch. Ensemble de preparation de charges utiles (EPCU S5).
Structure that joins together two parts of a launcher's or booster's stage and which transmits mechanical forces from the engine to the other structures of the launcher.
Solid Booster Integration Building
Place at Europe's Spaceport where booster segments are integrated. Bâtiment d'intégration des propulseurs (BIP).
Solid rocket motor
Motor of the Ariane-5 solid propellant booster (MPS).
Soyuz launch zone
Area at Europe's Spaceport from where the Russian Federation Soyuz launcher will lift off in 2007.
Multiple launch carrier structure that supports the upper payload and encapsulates the lower payload, protecting it from acoustic vibrations and thermal flow.
Term used for a complete element of a launch vehicle, i.e. propellant tank, one or more engines and electrical, mechanical or pneumatic equipment.
Storable propellant stage
This is the Ariane-5 upper stage - after 25 mins of thrust this reaches the orbiting speed of 28 000 km/h needed to release satellites into GTO. Etage à propergols stockables (EPS).
see Sun-synchronous orbit
A polar orbit which is synchronous with the Sun, usually at an altitude of between 600-800 km (SSO).
Multiple launch carrier structure housed inside the fairing - the Sylda 5 is smaller than the Speltra.
Administration buildings and control rooms at the Spaceport.
Telecommunication of the readings of measuring instruments to a device on which the readings can be indicated or recorded.
Solid-propellant plant at Europe's Spaceport. Usine de propergol de Guyane (UPG).
see Vehicle equipment bay
A European launcher schedule to make its first flight in 2006 from Europe's Spaceport.
Vega launch zone
Area at Europe's Spaceport from where Vega will lift off.
Vega AVUM upper stage
Upper stage of Vega consisting of a liquid propellant system, an attitude control system and the core of Vega's avionics system.
Vehicle equipment bay
The brains of an Ariane-5 launcher, this groups the main electronic elements that control the launcher.
Cryogenic engine of the Ariane-5G main stage.
Zefiro 23 solid rocket motor
The Vega second stage motor with a combustion time of 71.6 s.
Zefiro 9 solid rocket motor
Vega 3rd stage solid rocket motor with a combustion time of 110 s.
Zone de lancement see Launch zone
see Ariane 5 launch zone
see Soyuz launch zone
see Vega launch zone
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