Mission Update

Mission Update

Three Ariane 5s are in the workflow as Arianespace sustains its launch rate in 2009

The Ariane 5 for tomorrow’s flight with JCSAT-12 and Optus D3 nears the Spaceport’s launch pad to complete its rollout from the Final Assembly Building. This will be Arianespace’s fourth launch of 2009, confirming the launch vehicle’s availability and mission flexibility.

August 20, 2009

Arianespace is keeping up its mission pace as three Ariane 5s are now in process at French Guiana – including the vehicle for tomorrow night’s flight, which has rolled out to the launch pad with a payload of two telecommunications satellites.

A total of seven Ariane 5 missions are targeted for 2009 – making it the busiest year of activity since Arianespace’s commercial introduction of the workhorse launcher in 1999.

Components for another Ariane 5 arrive in French Guiana aboard the MN Colibri, a sea-going vessel that transports Arianespace launch vehicles from Europe.

Tomorrow’s launch will orbit U.S.-built payloads for two key Arianespace customers in the Asia-Pacific region: JCSAT-12 for Japan’s SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, and Optus D3 for the Optus telecommunications provider of Australia.  These two satellites weigh a combined total of 6,500 kg., and they will be injected into geostationary transfer orbit during a flight lasting just over 34 minutes.

The Ariane 5 for this mission – Arianespace’s fourth of 2009 – was transferred today from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone.  It rode atop one of two mobile launch tables in operation for Ariane 5, and has now been positioned for tomorrow’s liftoff during a one-hour launch window that begins at 7:09 p.m. local time in French Guiana.

Its rollout opens the Final Assembly Building to receive the Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s subsequent mission, which has completed its initial build-up in the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building.

Separately, the components for another Ariane 5 arrived in French Guiana yesterday, delivered by the MN Colibri – which is one of two roll-on/roll-off sea-going vessels operated for Arianespace to transport launch vehicles from their European manufacturers to South America.  The elements for this latest Ariane 5 will be moved by road from Pariacabo port near Kourou to the Spaceport, enabling its assembly to begin shortly in the Launcher Integration Building.

Launch Window

Universal time (GMT)

Paris, France

Kourou, French Guiana

Washington, D.C., USA



Between 22h09 and 23h09 on August 21, 2009

00h09 and 01h09 on
August 22, 2009

07:09 p.m. and 08:09 p.m. on August 21, 2009

06:09 p.m. and 07:09 p.m. on August 21, 2009

07:09 a.m. and 08:09 a.m. on August 22, 2009

Between 08:09 a.m. and 09:09 a.m.
on August 22, 2009


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