ELA -2 ( Ensemble de Lancement Ariane ) is built for the Ariane 4 rocket launch facility of the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana. From the designed for up to 20 Ariane 4 launches per year plant started all Ariane 4 rocket. Practically, however, only a maximum of eleven Ariane 4 rockets were launched per year.
Construction and operation
ELA 2 was built specifically for the opposite Ariane 1-3 highly attenuated Ariane 4. However, Ariane 2 and 3 were able to launch missiles from her, but only if they were on a mobile launch platform particularly high, thus fueling the arms of the launch tower could reach the third stage. The launch pad ELA 2 consisted of an assembly building where the rockets were assembled with the exception of the solid rocket boosters and the payload, a rail link with soft and siding on which the remote on one of two portable launchers mounted rockets to 950 m grid position were driven with launch tower and a mobile gantry. By siding, it was possible to drive away an already ready to take off again from the rocket launch site, so that a later -mounted rocket could launch first.
After the rocket had reached the launch site, the gantry was moved about them, and the already merged into one unit payload, consisting of the double-start device fitted with the satellite and the payload fairing, on the third stage. If solid rocket boosters were used for a flight, they were also mounted here. The second stage was also fueled the mounting tower and outside with a foam polystyrene insulation ( the oxidizer nitrogen tetroxide would evaporate at about 21 ° C). Thereafter, the mobile assembly tower is driven to one side, filled up the first and third stage of the rocket and then the rocket is launched; the second-stage insulating material was dropped there. The first launch of ELA 2 took place on March 28, 1986 by an Ariane 3 instead, the last with the last flight of the Ariane 4 on 15 February 2003. Since it is out of service and was blown up on 30 September 2011. Total off from ELA - 2 119 Ariane rockets, while 116 were Ariane 4, Ariane 3 and Ariane two second
Since July 2011, ELA -2 will be demolished. The 80 m high Mobile tower installation of metal was blown up on 30 September 2011 and its parts to be reused or disposed of in Europe.
The starting tower to follow by the end of 2011, thus (possibly) can arise the launch facilities of a future missile at ELA -2. Only some of the buildings to start preparation of the satellites continue to operate for launches of Soyuz and Ariane 5.