Flight 164 was given the formal go-ahead for liftoff on Saturday, February 12 following today’s launch readiness review at the Spaceport in French Guiana.

The review – which represents one of the final steps before every Ariane mission – validated the readiness of the Ariane 5 ECA heavy-lift launcher, its multi-element payload, the infrastructure at the Spaceport and the network of tracking stations.

As a result, the go-ahead was given to tomorrow’s transfer of the completed Ariane 5 from the Final Assembly Building to the ELA 3 launch zone.

This will be followed by the final countdown leading to liftoff on February 12 at the start of a launch window that opens at 4:49 p.m. and runs to 6:10 p.m. (local time in French Guiana).

Flight 164 is Arianespace’s first mission of 2005, and will carry the XTAR-EUR X-band telecommunications satellite as its primary payload. Also aboard the launcher are the Sloshsat demonstrator spacecraft and the Maqsat-B2 test payload.