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 on the ELA-3 launchpad at Kourou, French Guiana. This 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. The large mast-like structures around the launch pad are lightning conductors. The maiden flight of the Ariane 5 launcher is scheduled for early 1996.
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