Mission Update

Mission Update

Ariane 5 is poised for launch with a mixed civilian/military telecom satellite payload


Today’s rollout began at 10:40 a.m. from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building under partly sunny skies, with the Ariane 5 arriving in the ELA-3 launch zone 1 hr., 10 min. later.


September 30, 2009

The Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s fifth mission of 2009 has moved to the launch pad at Europe’s Spaceport, readying it for tomorrow’s liftoff with the Amazonas 2 and COMSATBw-1 satellite payloads.

Today’s Ariane 5 transfer from its Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone starts the final countdown leading to a departure scheduled at the start of a 1 hr., 11 min. launch window that opens at 6:59 p.m. local time in French Guiana.

Arianespace is keeping up the mission pace, with a total of seven flights planned during 2009 – the busiest year of launch activity for Ariane 5 since its commercial introduction in 1999.

The total lift performance for this upcoming launch is 9,087 kg., which includes 7,905 kg. for the Amazonas 2 and COMSATBw-1 satellites, along with the mass of Ariane 5’s SYLDA dual-payload dispenser and the associated integration hardware.

Riding as the upper payload in Ariane 5’s payload “stack,” Amazonas 2 will be released at 27 minutes into the flight.  The satellite weighs approximately 5,500-kg. and will provide a wide range of telecommunications services over its coverage area extending from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. 

Amazonas 2 will be operated from an orbital slot of 61 deg. West, and is to be used by the Spanish-based HISPASAT telecommunications operator for relay capacity over the Americas with its 54 Ku-band transponders and 10 C-band transponders.  Based on EADS Astrium’s Eurostar E3000 spacecraft bus, the satellite has a design lifetime of 15 years, with an end-of-life power of 15.3 kW.

COMSATBw-1 has a liftoff mass of about 2,500 kg., and will be deployed from Ariane 5’s lower passenger position at just over 33 minutes into the flight.  To be operated from an orbital position of 63 deg. East, this satellite will be a key element in the German Bundeswehr’s (German Armed Forces) concept for network-centric operations. 

The spacecraft is to 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.  It carries four SHF-band transponders and five UHF-band transponders, with a coverage area extending from America to eastern Asia.

Astrium is prime contractor for the German military telecommunications system’s space segment, which will comprise two satellites to be launched by Arianespace.  Integration of both relay spacecraft is the responsibility of Thales Alenia Space, with the satellites based on the Spacebus platform. The payloads are provided by Astrium subsidiary TESAT.

The October 1 Ariane 5 launch will mark the 191st mission of an Ariane vehicle since the launcher family began operations in 1979.

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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