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Pictured from left to right: 90 metre-high mobile gantry, mast, lightening tower in the background, and two dummy P120C boosters.
In August 2019, the technical qualification of the Ariane 6 launch base in Kourou, French Guiana, began with a mechanical test campaign.
Two ‘dummy’ versions of the P120C boosters filled with water instead of fuel were transferred and positioned on the launch table. the mobile gantry was completed by November, as were the two flame trenches, the water tower, and launch table structure.
The main remaining structures to be finished are part of the cladding of the mobile gantry, the lightning towers that will be erected around the launch table to protect against lightening strikes, and parts of the additional surrounding areas.
Nearing the end of November, the fixed umbilical mast was finalised. It provides power and environmental control connections to Ariane 6 and its payloads from mission preparations through the countdown and liftoff.
With the mast complete, it meant that the 90 metre-high mobile gantry could move the full length along its rails from the retracted position up to the launch pad. With the mobile gantry in this position, Ariane 6 is fully protected and accessible to engineers. This rolling manoeuvre will be practised until 29 November.
Photo taken by John Kraus. For more photos, visit