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Arabsat 5A is delivered to French Guiana for its Ariane 5 flight
March 12, 2010 – Ariane Flight 195
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.