Press Release

Press Release

Mission accomplished! Arianespace orbits Arabsat-5A and COMS

Kourou, June 26, 2010

On Saturday, June 26, Arianespace orbited the Arabsat-5A communications satellite for the operator Arabsat, and the COMS multimission satellite for the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI).

51st Ariane 5 launch, 37th success in a row

This latest successful launch of Ariane 5, the second in 2010, once again proves the launcher’s operational capabilities. Ariane 5 is the only commercial satellite launcher now on the market capable of simultaneously launching two payloads and handling a complete range of missions, from commercial launches into geostationary orbit to scientific satellites boosted into special orbits.

The 51st launch of an Ariane 5, and the 37th successful mission in a row, clearly confirms the launcher’s reliability and availability. Arianespace’s launch Service & Solutions continue to set the global standard and guarantee independent access to space for all customers, including national and international space agencies, private firms and governments.

Two loyal customers

Arianespace and Arabsat have developed close ties over the 25 years since the launch of Arabsat 1A in 1985. Arabsat 5A is the seventh Arabsat satellite to have chosen the European launcher.

The launch of South Korea’s COMS satellite continues a partnership that started nearly 20 years ago with the launch of Kitsat scientific microsats for SaTRec, Satellite Technology Research Center, and continued with the launch of the Koreasat-3 communications satellite for the operator Korea Telecom.

 Arabsat-5A/COMS mission at a glance

The mission was carried out by an Ariane 5 ECA launcher from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Liftoff was on Saturday, June 26, 2010 at 6:41 pm local time in Kourou (5:41 p.m. in Washington, D.C., 21:41 UTC, 11:41 p.m. in Paris and on Sunday, June 27, at 12:41 a.m. in Riyadh, 6:41 a.m. in Seoul).

Arabsat-5A weighed 4,939 kg. at launch. It was built by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space within the scope of a turnkey contract with satcom operator Arabsat, based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Astrium provided the Eurostar E3000 platform and was responsible for satellite integration, while Thales Alenia Space supplied the payload. Arabsat-5A will provide telecommunications and TV broadcasting services in the Middle East and North Africa. Positioned at 30.5 degrees East, it has a design life exceeding 15 years.

COMS, the Communication, Ocean and Meteorological Satellite, weighed 2,460 kg. at launch and is fitted with three payloads. In addition to its meteorological observation and ocean surveillance missions, its orbital position over the Korean peninsula will enable it to provide broadband multimedia communications services. Program prime contractor Astrium built COMS under co-operative efforts with Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) using a Eurostar E3000 platform, fitted with a meteorological imaging system and an ocean observation payload. The Ka-Band telecommunication payload was developed by Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) in Korea and was supplied by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI).

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