Mission Update

Mission Update

Arianespace's Ariane 5 mission is cleared for launch with Amazonas 2 and COMSATBw-1

September 29, 2009

The go-ahead for Arianespace’s fifth launch of 2009 was given today, allowing final steps to be taken for Thursday evening’s liftoff with the Amazonas 2 civilian telecommunications satellite and Germany’s COMSATBw-1 military relay platform.

This cutaway drawing shows the mission’s payload “stack” with Amazonas 2 and COMSATBw-1.

Approval for the October 1 mission was provided following this afternoon’s conclusion of the traditional launch readiness review, which is organized before each flight to validate Ariane 5’s “go” status, along with its dual-passenger payload, the infrastructure at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana and the network of downrange tracking stations.

This clears the way for tomorrow’s rollout of the Ariane 5 from its Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone, where it is scheduled to lift off on Thursday at the start of a 1 hr., 11 min. launch window that opens at 6:59 p.m. local time in French Guiana.

Amazonas 2 will ride as the upper payload on Ariane 5, being released at 27 minutes into the flight.  This 5,500-kg. spacecraft will operate from an orbital slot of 61 deg. West, and it to be used by the Spanish-based HISPASAT telecommunications operator for relay capacity over the Americas – with its coverage area extending from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego.  

It is based on EADS Astrium’s Eurostar E3000 spacecraft bus, and will handle a wide range of communications services during its 15-year design lifetime – including direct-to-home television – through the satellite’s 54 Ku-band transponders and 10 C-band transponders.

COMSATBw-1 is the lower passenger in Ariane 5’s payload “stack” and has a liftoff mass of approximately 2,500 kg.  Once in orbit, it will play an important role in the German Bundeswehr’s (German Armed Forces) concept for network-centric operations.  The satellite will serve as the backbone of a strategic command infrastructure and interface for the Bundeswehr’s tactical arms, handling secure information – including voice, fax, data, video and multimedia applications – for use by units on deployed missions.

The coverage area for COMSATBw-1 is to extend from America to eastern Asia.  For this German military program, Astrium is responsible for the space segment and is Arianespace’s customer for the commercial launch services.  Thales Alenia Space designed, manufactured, integrated, tested and delivered the satellite to Astrium, while Astrium’s German subsidiary TESAT manufactured essential parts of the payload. 

COMSATBw-1 is to be deployed by Ariane 5 at 33 minutes into the mission.

Launch Window for the Amazonas 2  & COMSATBw-1 mission

Universal time (GMT)

Paris, France

Kourou, French Guiana

Washington, D.C., USA

Tokyo, Japan

Between 09:59 p.m. and 11:10 p.m. on
October 1, 2009

Between 11:59 p.m. and 01:10 a.m. on
October 1/2, 2009

Between 06:59 p.m. and 08:10 p.m. on October 1, 2009

Between 05:59 p.m. and 07:10 p.m. on October 1, 2009

Between 06:59 a.m. and 08:10 a.m. on October 2, 2009


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