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Fueling of JCSAT-12 is performed for Arianespace’s fourth Ariane 5 mission of 2009
August 7, 2009
The second passenger on Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 flight has been fueled at the Spaceport as preparations continue for the workhorse vehicle’s fourth heavy-lift launch of 2009 from French Guiana.
Propellant loading of the JCSAT-12 spacecraft was performed in the Spaceport’s S5 satellite preparation facility, readying this relay platform for its integration with the Ariane 5.
JCSAT-12 is a high-power hybrid relay platform that will serve as a backup satellite for SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation’s fleet. It will be launched along with the Optus D3 telecommunications satellite, which also has completed its propellant fueling process in the Spaceport’s S5 facility.
The upcoming Ariane 5 mission is scheduled for later this month, and carries a pair of U.S.-manufactured spacecraft for two of Arianespace’s Asia-Pacific customers.
JCSAT-12 was built in Newtown, Pennsylvania by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems with the company’s A2100 spacecraft bus, and is to be operated by Japan’s SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation – which is one of Asia’s largest satellite operators.
The Optus D3 payload was produced by Orbital Sciences Corporation at its Dulles, Virginia manufacturing facility using the company’s STAR-2 platform. It will be utilized by Australia’s Optus telecommunications provider, and is equipped with 32 Ku-band transponders for fixed communications and direct television broadcasting services to Australia and New Zealand.
A total of seven Ariane 5 missions are planned in 2009, making it the busiest year ever for Arianespace’s heavy-lift launcher.