THE Launch of the second Ariane 5 rocket has been set for mid-April 1997, with a second qualification flight in September. The first commercial launch is planned for early 1998.

The Ariane 5 programme received a massive setback when the maiden flight in June failed because of a software anomaly with the guidance system.

The next payload will consist of two "mock" satellites as well as the Amsat amateur radio satellite. The second qualification launch will carry the Aerospatiale Atmospheric Re-entry demonstrator, plus a commercial payload. Cost overruns from the failure may be ECU 288 million ($230 million).


Source: Flight International