Mission Update

Mission Update

Ariane 5 moves to the launch zone with Arabsat-5C and SES-2 for Arianespace's fifth heavy-lift flight of 2011

September 19, 2011 – Ariane Flight VA204

The 60th Ariane 5 launch vehicle has rolled out at the Spaceport for tomorrow night’s liftoff on a mission that will carry another dual-satellite payload at the service of Arianespace’s international customer base.

Moving atop one of two large mobile launch tables in service for Ariane 5, the heavy-lift workhorse was transferred from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone today, completing the rollout in one hour under sunny skies.

This flight will be Arianespace’s fifth Ariane 5 mission of 2011, and is to deploy the Arabsat-5C and SES-2 telecommunications spacecraft.  Total payload performance is approximately 8,975 kg., of which 7,830 kg. is the combined mass for the two satellite passengers – which are to be deployed into geostationary transfer orbits.

SES-2 will be utilized by European satellite telecommunications operator SES, and was manufactured by Orbital Sciences Corporation of the U.S.  Carrying 24 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders, the satellite is to generate approximately five kilowatts of payload power, and will replace SES’ AMC-3 spacecraft at 87 deg. West for coverage over North America and the Caribbean.

The SES-2 platform also is equipped with the Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload (CHIRP) sensor for the U.S. Air Force – which integrates a wide-field of view sensor.

Arabsat-5C is a multi-mission spacecraft for the Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Arabsat), designed to deliver capacity in both the C- and Ka-bands for a range of communications services.  It was manufactured in a joint effort by Europe’s EADS Astrium and Thales Alenia Space, and will be located at Arabsat’s 20 deg. East orbital position.

Ariane 5 moves onto the Spaceport’s launch pad in preparation for its liftoff with the Arabsat-5C and SES-2 satellite payloads.

Launch window for Ariane Flight VA204

Universal time (GMT)

Paris, France

Kourou, French Guiana

Washington, D.C.


From 9:38 p.m. to
11:02 p.m. on
September 20

From 11:38 p.m. to 01:02 a.m. on

September 20/21

From 6:38 p.m. to 8:02 p.m. on September 20

From 5:38 p.m. to 7:02 p.m. on

September 20

From 12:38 a.m. to 02:02 a.m. on
September 21


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