Flight 194 is the 50th Ariane 5 launch and the first in 2010. An ARIANE 5 ECA (Cryogenic Evolution type A), the most powerful version in the ARIANE 5 range, will be used for this flight.
Flight 194 is a commercial mission for Ariane 5. Launcher 551, the 46th production phase ARIANE 5, is the twenty-fourth of the 30 PA contract launchers, for which AIRBUS DEFENCE AND SPACE is production prime contractor. 551 is consequently the twenty-fifth complete launcher to be delivered to Arianespace, integrated and checked out under AIRBUS DEFENCE AND SPACE responsibility in the Launcher Integration Building (BIL).
In a dual-payload configuration using the SYLDA 5 “A” (6.4m high) system and a long pattern fairing (total height: 17m), the launcher is carrying the European satellites ASTRA 3B in the upper position and COMSATBw-2 in the lower position.