Arianespace’s heavy-lift Ariane 5 flight is cleared for launch with Alphasat and INSAT-3D
The third Arianespace Ariane 5 flight in 2013 has been given the “go” for its liftoff on Thursday following today’s successful launch readiness review, conducted at the Spaceport in French Guiana.
This milestone – which is held prior to each Arianespace mission – confirms that the heavy-lift workhorse launch vehicle and its payload are flight-ready, along with the Spaceport’s infrastructure and the network of downrange tracking stations.
With the “green light” given, Ariane 5 is now cleared for its rollout tomorrow from the Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone, where it will be readied for liftoff on July 25 during a 1-hour, 18-minute launch window that opens at 4:53 p.m. local time in French Guiana.
The payload lift performance for Arianespace’s latest Ariane 5 flight is set at 9,760 kg., which includes a combined total of some 8,770 kg. for the two satellite passengers – Europe’s Alphasat and the Indian INSAT-3D – as well as the launcher’s SYLDA dual-passenger dispenser system and satellite integration hardware.
To be deployed first during the 32-minute flight sequence, Alphasat is Europe’s largest telecommunications satellite ever built – configured with an advanced, new generation L-band geo-mobile communications relay system that will augment Inmarsat’s Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service, enabling increased-capacity communications across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Alphasat is the result of a public-private partnership with ESA and Inmarsat, evolved under ESA’s Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) program. It represents the first flight model of Europe’s new Alphabus high capacity satellite platform, and will operate from a 25 deg. East orbital slot.
Located below Alphasat in the launch vehicle payload “stack” is the mission’s lower passenger, India’s INSAT-3D – which was developed by the country’s Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) space agency with its ISRO Space Applications Centre to provide enhanced meteorological observation and the monitoring of land/ocean surfaces.
Planned for operation from an 82 deg. East orbital position, INSAT-3D is equipped with a six-channel imager and 19-channel sounder, and carries caries a data relay transponder along with a payload to assist in satellite-aided search and rescue operations.