Yesterday, 25 September, the launch readiness review for V162 was held at the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
In the presence of Jean-Yves Le Gall (Director General of Arianespace), the launch vehicle, its payload (SMART-1 and its companions INSAT 3E and e-BIRD) and the ground infrastructure were all declared ready for a launch on 27 September with a launch window opening at 23:02 UT.
Today at 10:15 Kourou local time (13:15 UT) the Ariane 5 launch vehicle is due to roll out to the launch pad. Fuelling takes place on the pad, tomorrow, on the day of the launch.
Over the previous days SMART-1 and its two fellow passengers were integrated atop the Ariane 5 launch vehicle, in the Final Assembly Building at Europe’s Spaceport.
The final integration process began on 17 September, when the SMART-1 lunar spacecraft was installed as Ariane 5's lower payload. SMART-1 is positioned inside a cylindrical-shaped dispenser, which provides the mounting interface for Eutelsat's e-BIRD spacecraft that sits atop it.
On 20 September Eutelsat's e-BIRD spacecraft was integrated atop Ariane 5, having been mounted on the cylindrical-shaped dispenser that contains SMART-1. The Indian Space Research Organisation's INSAT 3E satellite was then installed atop its SYLDA 5 deployment dispenser. INSAT 3E is the uppermost satellite in the Flight 162 payload stack, riding atop the SYLDA 5 dispenser. This mission uses a lengthened version of SYLDA 5, which was stretched in order to fit over both e-BIRD and SMART-1.