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Ariane 5 August 2, 2010

Ariane 5 is cleared for its launch with NILESAT 201 and RASCOM-QAF1R

This photo series shows final payload integration activity for Arianespace’s third flight of 2010, which led to today’s successful launch readiness review at the Spaceport. In the photo at left, RASCOM-QAF1R is lowered for its installation on Ariane 5’s core stage. At center, the payload fairing containing NILESAT 201 is ready for its integration. At right is a close-up photo of RASCOM-QAF1R as it is ready to be covered by the launcher’s upper payload "stack" component.

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.

Ariane 5 July 28, 2010

Integration begins with the next Ariane 5 to be launched from the Spaceport

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