Mission Update

Mission Update

Pre-launch processing of Amazonas 2 is underway for Arianespace's next Ariane 5 mission

September 2, 2009

The first-arrived payload for Ariane 5’s next flight is undergoing initial checkout at the Spaceport in French Guiana as preparations move forward for Arianespace’s dual-passenger mission later this month – which will be its fifth heavy-lift launch of 2009.

Amazonas 2 begins pre-launch processing in the S5B hall of the Spaceport’s S5 satellite preparation facility.

Amazonas 2 is in the Spaceport’s S5 satellite preparation facility, having been removed from the shipping container that protected this EADS Astrium-built spacecraft during its trans-Atlantic voyage from Europe aboard a cargo jetliner last week.

Weighing approximately 5,500 kg. at liftoff, Amazonas 2 will be injected into geostationary transfer orbit by Ariane 5, and is to operate from a final orbital slot of 61 deg. West.  The satellite is based on EADS Astrium’s Eurostar E3000 spacecraft bus, which will supply a payload power of about 14 kW.

Amazonas 2 will provide the Spanish-based HISPASAT telecommunications operator with relay capacity over the Americas, with its coverage area extending from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego.   The spacecraft is designed for a useful lifetime of 15 years, and is to handle a wide range of communications services – including direct-to-home television – through its 54 Ku-band transponders and 10 C-band transponders.

Riding with Amazonas 2 on the upcoming Ariane 5 mission will be Germany’s COMSATBw-1 military telecommunications satellite.  

Arianespace’s late September launch with Amazonas 2 and COMSATBw-1 is part of the company’s sustained Ariane 5 mission pace – which calls for a total of seven flights with the workhorse heavy-lift vehicle this year.  It will make 2009 the busiest year since Ariane 5’s commercial service introduction by Arianespace in 1999.

Ariane 5’s four missions performed so far in 2009 have orbited a combined payload mass of more than 26,000 kg.  These launches have lofted five commercial telecommunications satellites for operators in Europe, Asia and North America, along with two European deep space telescopes and a pair of French demonstrator spacecraft for a future defense early warning system.

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