Ariane 5 is cleared for its launch with NILESAT 201 and RASCOM-QAF1R
Arianespace’s third heavy-lift flight of 2010 has been authorized for its August 4 liftoff following today’s launch readiness review at the Spaceport in French Guiana.
The review is performed prior to each Ariane 5 mission, ensuring that the launch vehicle and its payload are flight-ready, along with the Spaceport’s infrastructure and the network of downrange tracking stations.
This go-ahead also clears Ariane 5 for its roll-out tomorrow from the Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone, where it will be readied for Wednesday’s liftoff during a launch window that opens at 5:45 p.m. local time in French Guiana.
The mission’s authorization follows final integration of the Ariane 5’s two Thales Alenia Space-produced payloads – NILESAT 201 and RASCOM-QAF1R – which was completed last week at the Spaceport.
Encapsulated in an ogive-shaped protective fairing, NILESAT 201 is mated atop the Ariane 5 SYLDA dual-payload dispenser system and positioned as the launch vehicle’s upper passenger.
To be deployed first during the flight sequence, NILESAT 201 will deliver digital Direct-to-Home (DTH) TV and radio broadcasting – along with high-speed data transmission services – to North Africa and the Middle East at the service of Egyptian satellite operator Nilesat. It will be positioned at an orbital slot of 7 deg. West.
Located below it in the launcher payload “stack” is the mission’s lower passenger, RASCOM-QAF1R, which is installed atop the heavy-lift vehicle’s core stage. From an orbital slot of 2.85 deg. East, RASCOM-QAF1R will ensure service continuity for the RascomStar-QAF operator and its customers, providing African access to advanced communications and information technologies – in particular rural telephony.
Ariane 5 will have a total lift performance of approximately 7,085 kg., which includes 6,250 kg. for the NILESAT 201 and RASCOM-QAF1R spacecraft, plus associated launcher integration hardware and the SYLDA dual-payload dispenser system.
From liftoff to the deployment of Ariane 5’s two passengers, the flight is to have a duration of approximately 33 minutes. It will be the 196th mission of an Ariane family vehicle, and the 52nd for Ariane 5.