Mission Update

Mission Update

The Ariane 5 mission with Yahsat Y1A and Intelsat New Dawn is “go” for its March 30 liftoff

March 28, 2011 – Ariane Flight VA201

Arianespace’s second Ariane 5 mission of 2011 has been given the green light for its March 30 liftoff with the Yahsat Y1A and Intelsat New Dawn satellites, clearing the way for this heavy-lift vehicle’s rollout tomorrow to the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone in French Guiana.


The authorization was granted following the completion of today’s launch readiness review – a milestone before every flight that validates the “go” status of the Ariane 5, its dual satellite payload, the Spaceport’s infrastructure and the network of tracking stations.

For this dual-payload mission, Ariane 5 will deploy the Yahsat Y1A and Intelsat New Dawn satellites during a flight lasting 35 minutes.  It will be the 57th launch of an Ariane 5, with a total lift performance of nearly 10,065 kg. – which includes the combined 8,965 kg. liftoff mass of the two spacecraft passengers, along with the SYLDA dual payload dispenser and integration hardware.

To be released first during this mission will be the 5,935-kg. Yahsat Y1A, which was developed for the Al Yah Satellite Communications Company to provide customized relay services for government and commercial sectors in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Southwest Asia.  Located in the upper position of Ariane 5’s dual-passenger payload “stack,” this spacecraft is based on Astrium’s Eurostar E3000 platform, while its communications payload was supplied by Thales Alenia Space.

Deployed from Ariane 5’s lower payload slot will be Intelsat New Dawn, which is the first-ever African private sector communications satellite.  Produced for a joint venture consortium led by Convergence Partners and Intelsat, the Orbital Sciences Corporation-built satellite was conceived to supply critical communications infrastructure for African customers – delivering wireless backhaul, broadband and media content.  Once at its operational geostationary orbital position, the relay platform will be operated and marketed as part of Intelsat’s global fleet. 

The March 30 mission with Yahsat Y1A and Intelsat New Dawn is one of Arianespace’s six Ariane 5 flights planned for 2011, along with the first two launches of its medium-lift Soyuz, and the lightweight Vega’s maiden flight – all from the Spaceport; as well as three Soyuz missions from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. 

Arianespace is maintaining the company’s launch pace to meet this goal, as two other mission campaigns currently are underway.  At the Spaceport, another Ariane 5 is taking shape for a May mission with the ST-2 and GSAT-8 satellites, while preparations are underway for an Arianespace Soyuz mission from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with six second-generation Globalstar spacecraft.

Launch window for Ariane Flight VA201

Universal time (GMT)

Paris, France

French Guiana

Abu Dhabi

9:45 p.m. to 10:52 p.m.
on March 30, 2011

11:45 p.m. to 12:52 a.m.
on March 30-31, 2011

6:45 p.m. to 7:52 p.m.
on March 30, 2011

1:45 a.m. to 2:52 a.m.
on March 31, 2011

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