Sunset on Ariane 5

One day before its fiery blastoff en route to the International Space Station, a European Ariane 5 rocket was towed to its launch pad in the Amazon jungle Tuesday.

The 1.7-mile journey from the final assembly building to the Ariane 5's ELA-3 launch zone took about an hour, and workers connected the rocket and its mobile launch table to the pad's electrical and fluid systems later Tuesday.

Liftoff of the 173-foot-tall Ariane 5 rocket and ESA's fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle is set for 2152:11 GMT (5:52:11 p.m. EDT; 6:52:11 p.m. local time) Wednesday, hauling more than 14,500 pounds of propellant, food, experiments, water and oxygen to the space station.

These photos from Tuesday evening show dusk falling at the Guiana Space Center.

See our Mission Status Center for the latest news on the launch.

Photo credit: ESA/Stephane Corvaja


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