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Ariane 5 May 19, 2011

Ariane 5 is in the launch zone for Arianespace’s dual-payload mission with GSAT-8 and ST-2

Riding atop its mobile launch table, Ariane 5 nears the completion of its rollout today at the Spaceport with the ST-2 and GSAT-8 spacecraft.

The 58th Ariane 5 to be launched from the Spaceport has rolled out for Arianespace’s dual-payload flight tomorrow from French Guiana, carrying satellites for Asia and India.

For this third Arianespace mission of 2011, the heavy-lift Ariane 5 was transferred from its Final Assembly Building to the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone today – enabling the countdown to begin for a Friday evening liftoff with the GSAT-8 and ST-2 spacecraft.

ST-2 will be deployed first during the 31-minute flight sequence of Ariane 5.  Built by Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, the satellite will be operated by the ST-2 Satellite Ventures joint company of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (SingTel) and Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom Company Ltd.

With an estimated liftoff mass of 5,090 kg., ST-2 will provide Ku- and C-band relay services for the delivery of IP-based fixed and mobile, voice and data transmission satellite services to businesses – especially direct broadcast TV operators and maritime companies in Asia and the Middle East.

The other passenger in Ariane 5’s dual-payload “stack” is GSAT-8, which was built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).  This spacecraft weighs approximately 3,100 kg. for liftoff, and carries 24 transponders to augment India’s Ku-band relay capabilities – primarily for direct-to-home TV broadcast services – with a coverage zone including the entire Indian subcontinent.  Additionally, GSAT-8 carries the two-channel GAGAN system for aircraft navigation assistance over Indian airspace and adjoining areas.

Ariane 5 May 17, 2011

Initial “top-off” is performed with the fourth Ariane 5 for launch this year

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