Flight 187 is the 43rd Ariane 5 launch and the first in 2009. An ARIANE 5 ECA (Cryogenic Evolution type A), the most powerful version in the ARIANE 5 range, will be used for this flight.
This will be the 39th commercial mission for Ariane 5. Launcher 545, the 39th production phase ARIANE 5, is the seventeenth of the 30 PA contract launchers, for which AIRBUS DEFENCE AND SPACE is production prime contractor. 545 is consequently the fifteenth 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 HOTBIRDTM 10 in the upper position and NSS-9 in the lower position. It is also carrying the two micros-satellites SPIRALE A & B.