Mission Update

Mission Update

Integration of Ariane 5 is completed for its upcoming heavy-lift launch with TerreStar-1

June 26, 2009

The Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s upcoming heavy-lift mission is now complete following its payload fairing’s installation over the TerreStar-1 payload – which will be the world’s largest commercial telecommunications satellite ever orbited.

TerreStar-1’s payload fairing is lowered through an opening in work stands of the Ariane 5’s Final Assembly Building at the Spaceport. The 6,910-kg. telecommunications satellite is visible atop its cone-shaped adapter, which is installed on the launch vehicle’s core stage.

During activity on Wednesday in the launcher Final Assembly Building at Europe’s Spaceport, the fairing was lowered into place over TerreStar-1, which is installed atop Ariane 5’s core stage.  Launch teams have since been validating the vehicle’s final configuration in preparation for its launch pad rollout on Tuesday, June 30 – which will clear the way for the final countdown to a July 1 afternoon liftoff.

Weighing nearly 6,910 kg. at launch, TerreStar-1 is riding as a solo payload on the dedicated Ariane 5, and will be released into geostationary transfer orbit approximately 26 minutes after liftoff from the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone. 

This mission has a two-hour launch window, which opens at 1:13 p.m. local time in French Guiana.  After its deployment by Ariane 5, TerreStar-1 will be positioned at 111 deg. West, where it will be operated by the American telecommunications operator TerreStar Networks.

TerreStar-1’s coverage is tailored to provide critical services for government, emergency responders, rural communities and commercial users throughout the United States and Canada.  

Built by Space Systems/Loral using the company’s 1300 satellite platform, TerreStar-1 will operate in the 2 GHz spectrum to provide voice, data and video communications to satellite/terrestrial mobile devices the size of a typical smart phone.   The spacecraft is fitted with an 18-meter deployable reflector and powerful S-Band feed array, and will be capable of managing some 500 beams during its in-orbit design lifetime of more than 15 years.

The July 1 mission with TerreStar-1 will be the 189th flight of an Ariane family vehicle, and the 45th launch for Ariane 5.  It is the third of seven Ariane 5 flights planned by Arianespace in 2009, maintaining the company’s mission pace for the launch needs of its global customer base.

Launch Window

Universal time (GMT)

Paris, France

Kourou, French Guiana

Washington, D.C., USA

San Francisco,

Between 4:13 p.m.
and 6:13 p.m. on
July 1, 2009

Between 6:13 p.m.
and 8:13 p.m. on
July 1, 2009

Between 1:13 p.m.
and 3:13 p.m. on
July 1, 2009

Between 12:13 p.m.
and 2:13 p.m. on
July 1, 2009

Between 9:13 a.m.
and 11:13 a.m. on
July 1, 2009

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