#Photos: Ariane 5 rocket in position for first launch of 2017

A powerful Ariane 5 rocket rolled out of its vertical assembly hangar to a tropical launch pad on the shores of South America on Monday, and these photos show the booster on the eve of liftoff.

Standing 180 feet (55 meters) tall, the Ariane 5 is scheduled for blastoff Tuesday with the Sky Brasil 1 and Telkom 3S communications satellites. It will be the 91st launch of an Ariane 5 rocket since 1996, and the first of up to seven Ariane 5 flights planned by Arianespace in 2017.

The images below show the Ariane 5 emerging from the final assembly building in French Guiana for the 1.7-mile (2.7-kilometer) journey to the ELA-3 launch zone. Officials also released photos of the rocket after arriving at the launch pad, which sits in a clearing about 2 miles (3 kilometers) from the Atlantic coast.

The rocket is composed of a core stage and upper stage, each consuming cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants, and two side-mounted solid rocket boosters with pre-packed powder fuel.

Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – G. Barbaste
Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – G. Barbaste
Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – G. Barbaste
Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – G. Barbaste
Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – S. Martin
Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – S. Martin
Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – S. Martin
Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – S. Martin
Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Photo Optique Video du CSG – S. Martin

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

from Spaceflight Now bit.ly/2ldAtWQ

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