Mission Update

Mission Update

Payload preparations are underway for Arianespace’s first launch of 2010

February 22, 2010 – Ariane Flight 194

The first-arrived payload for Ariane 5’s year-opening flight is undergoing initial checkout at Europe’s Spaceport as preparations move forward for a dual-passenger mission set for March 24.

After ASTRA 3B’s delivery in French Guiana earlier this month, the spacecraft was moved into the Spaceport’s S5 facility – where it has since undergone initial fit-check validation with the adapter that will serve as the satellite’s interface with Ariane 5 (see photo, at right).

The EADS Astrium-built ASTRA 3B is a state-of-the-art Ku- and Ka-band spacecraft designed for the distribution of both direct-to-home broadcast services and two-way broadband services across Europe and the Middle East.  With a launch mass of 5,470 kilograms, it will be positioned at the increasingly important 23.5 deg. East orbital position for Luxembourg-based SES ASTRA.

This upcoming flight will orbit ASTRA 3B along with another satellite produced by EADS Astrium, COMSATBw-2 – kicking off Arianespace’s busy schedule of seven Ariane 5 missions in 2010.

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