Flight 177 is the 33rd Ariane 5 launch and the third in 2007. 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 29th commercial mission for Ariane 5.
Launcher 537, the 29th production phase Ariane 5, is the eighth of the 30 PA contract launchers, for which Airbus Defence and Space is production prime contractor. 537 is consequently the eighth complete launcher to be delivered to Arianespace, integrated and checked out under Airbus Defence and Space’s responsibility in the Launcher Integration Building (BIL). In a multi-payload configuration using the SYLDA 5A (6.4 m high) system and a long pattern fairing (total height 17 m), the launcher is carrying the US telecommunications satellite SPACEWAY 3 in the upper position and the Japanese telecommunications satellite BSAT-3A in the lower.