Mission Update

Mission Update

The NSS-12 and THOR 6 payloads arrive at the Spaceport for Ariane 5's sixth launch of 2009

September 30, 2009

Both satellite payloads for the sixth Ariane 5 flight of this year are now at the Spaceport in French Guiana as Arianespace maintains its rapid mission rate to meet the launch timing for a global customer base.

The THOR 6 satellite emerges from its shipping container in the large S5C hall of the Spaceport’s S5 payload preparation facility.

SES WORLD SKIES’ NSS-12 spacecraft and THOR 6 for Telenor Satellite Broadcasting arrived aboard separate cargo jetliners at Rochambeau International Airport near the French Guiana capital city of Cayenne, and were transferred to the Spaceport to begin their final check-out.

NSS-12 was manufactured by Space Systems/Loral and is to provide comprehensive coverage for some of the world’s fastest-growing markets.  It will replace the NSS-703 relay platform at 57 deg. East, serving virtually the entire Eastern Hemisphere. 

This spacecraft will bring increased capacity and transmission power for Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia.  NSS-12 is equipped with 40 C-band transponders and 48 Ku-band transponders with direct-to-home TV delivery power levels, as well as elaborate beam interconnectivity and C-/Ku-band cross-strapping. The NSS-12 is based on Space Systems/Loral’s 1300 platform and has been designed to have a minimum expected lifetime of 15 years.

Joining NSS-12 at the Spaceport for the next Ariane 5 mission is THOR 6, which will strengthen Telenor Satellite Broadcasting’s television broadcast coverage over Central and Eastern Europe, while also providing additional capacity in the Nordic region.  It will deliver high-power direct-to-home television services from the 1 deg. West orbital position.

Based on Thales Alenia Space’s Spacebus 4000B2 platform, THOR 6 is fitted with 36 Ku-band transponders - 16 of which will serve the Nordic countries, while the 20 other transponders will provide capacity for the growing broadcasting demands within Central and Eastern Europe.

The Ariane 5 mission with NSS-12 and THOR 6 will be the 192nd launch of an Ariane family vehicle.  Its flight will follow the October 1 departure of an Ariane 5 that is ready for liftoff with the Amazonas 2 civilian telecommunications satellite for HISPASAT and Germany’s COMSATBw-1 military relay spacecraft for the German Armed Forces.

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