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