Final pre-launch preparations are underway for Flight 136 following a one-day postponement that allowed a visual inspection of the Anik F1 satellite, as requested by payload customer Telesat Canada.

This inspection was performed in the upper level of the Ariane 4 service tower, with the satellite remaining installed atop the launcher.

Work crews removed the two half shells of the Ariane 4 payload fairing during the weekend, allowing access to Anik F1 for the inspection process.

To prepare for the payload fairing removal, the service tower’s upper level was ventilated to create Class 100,000 clean room conditions. Once the inspection of Anik F1 was complete, the fairing half shells were reinstalled and the launcher revalidated for flight.

This enabled today’s fuelling of the Ariane 4’s first and second stages, as well as the four large liquid boosters, with UH 25 and N204 propellant.

The fuelling should be completed late tonight, allowing the final countdown to begin tomorrow, November 21.

The last hours before launch will include the withdrawl of the mobile service tower and fuelling of the Ariane 4’s third stage with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen.

Liftoff of the Ariane 4 is scheduled during a launch window that runs from 8:56 p.m. to 9:26 p.m. Kourou time.