Mission Update

Mission Update

Arabsat 5A is delivered to French Guiana for its Ariane 5 flight

March 12, 2010 – Ariane Flight 195

The Arabsat 5A communications satellite is unloaded after its transport to Rochambeau International Airport, located near French Guiana’s capital city of Cayenne.

The initial passenger for Arianespace’s second Ariane 5 mission of this year is now in French Guiana following a trans-Atlantic flight from Europe earlier this week.

Arabsat-5A arrived at Rochambeau International Airport aboard an Antonov An-124 cargo aircraft, delivered from the Toulouse, France facilities of EADS Astrium – which built this communications satellite jointly with Thales Alenia Space as co-prime contractors.

Astrium supplied the Eurostar E3000 satellite bus on which Arabsat-5A is based, and also was responsible for its assembly and testing. The spacecraft’s communications payload – which features 26 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders – was provided by Thales Alenia Space. It will weigh 4,800 kg. at launch, and is designed for a nominal lifetime of 15 years.

Arabsat-5A is the initial fifth-generation spacecraft for Arabsat, one of the Arab world’s leading satellite services providers. To be located at an orbital position of 30.5 deg. East, it will provide additional capacity for a full range of satellite communications services over sub-Saharan Africa, the North Africa and Middle East (MENA) region, and beyond.

For the upcoming Ariane 5 launch, Arabsat-5A will be joined by COMS – an Astrium-built multi-mission satellite for the Korea Aerospace and Research Institute of South Korea, which carries payloads for meteorology, ocean observation and communications. 

This second flight of Arianespace’s heavy-lift workhorse in 2010 is targeted for late April, and will follow the March 24 launch of ASTRA 3B and COMSATBw-2 by an Ariane 5 ECA.

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