Mission Update

Mission Update

Amazonas 2 is delivered to the Spaceport for Arianespace’s fifth launch of 2009

August 28, 2009

The initial passenger for Arianespace’s fifth Ariane 5 mission of this year was delivered to French Guiana today following a trans-Atlantic cargo flight from Europe.

The container with Amazonas 2 is unloaded at Cayenne’s Rochambeau International Airport after a pre-dawn arrival of
the An-124 cargo jetliner.

HISPASAT’s Amazonas 2 telecommunications relay satellite arrived this morning aboard an Antonov An-124 jetliner, which landed at Cayenne’s Rochambeau International Airport.  It will now begin final preparations for liftoff in late September on a dual-payload Ariane 5 mission.

Amazonas 2 is based on EADS Astrium’s Eurostar E3000 spacecraft bus and will have a mass at liftoff of 5,400 kg.  Its payload consists of 64 active transponders – 54 for operation in Ku-band, and the other 10 in C-band – providing additional capacity for HISPASAT’s service over the Americas, with coverage from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego.

The Madrid, Spain-based HISPASAT was established in 1989 with the goal of becoming the leading satellite operator for the Spanish and Portuguese language markets.  Since then, the company has developed its satellite fleet – with Arianespace contributing its launch services in orbiting three spacecraft: Hispasat 1B in 1993, XTAR-EUR in 2005 and Spainsat in 2006.

Joining Amazonas 2 on Arianespace’s upcoming Ariane 5 flight in September will be the GMS military communications satellite for Germany.  This mission will continue the company's sustained launch rate, with Arianespace targeting a total of seven Ariane 5 flights in 2009 – the busiest year of activity since the workhorse vehicle entered commercial service in 1999.

The four Ariane 5 flights already performed in 2009 have orbited a combined payload mass of more than 26,000 kg.  Arianespace’s most recent launch was on August 21, which lofted the JCSAT-12 and Optus D3 telecom payloads.  It was preceded by a record-setting Ariane 5 performance on July 1 with the heavyweight TerreStar-1 mobile communications spacecraft, while a launch on May 14 carried Europe’s Herschel and Planck deep space telescopes.  Arianespace’s first flight of 2009 was on February 12, orbiting the HOT BIRD™ 10 and NSS-9 commercial telecommunications satellites, along with two French military Spirale auxiliary passengers.

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