DAVID PARKER FOR ESA / CNES / ARIANESPACE / / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID PARKER FOR ESA / CNES / ARIANESPACE / / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Ariane 5 launcher. An engineering test vehicle of an Ariane 5 launcher seen about to leave the Final Assembly Building (BAF) at Kourou, French Guiana. This launcher is identical to an actual Ariane 5, except that it is made of components not cleared for 'live' use. It is used primarily to check all of the pre-flight assembly and handling procedures up to the moment before engine start. A 'launch table' carries the completed Ariane 5 from the BAF to the ELA-3 launchpad on a twin railway track.
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