PATRICK LANDMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PATRICK LANDMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ariane 5 booster inspection. Worker inspecting Ariane 5 solid rocket booster (SRB) in the Booster Integration Building, Guiana Space Centre, Kourou, French Guiana. A worker hangs from a climbing harness to visually inspect the joints on the SRB. Any defect could cause the rocket to explode or malfunction. The SRB weights 37 tonnes when empty and measures 31 metres tall. Two solid booster rockets are attached to the Ariane 5 main stage and provide the thrust required for take-off. After roughly 132 seconds from lift-off, the SRBs are discarded and eventually drop into the ocean.
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