Ariane 5 is poised for launch with ASTRA 3B and COMSATBw-2
Arianespace’s Ariane 5 mission with the ASTRA 3B and COMSATBw-2 satellite payloads is on track for a liftoff tomorrow evening, following the heavy-lift vehicle’s rollout to the launch zone at the Spaceport in French Guiana this morning.
Riding atop its mobile launch table, Ariane 5 emerged from the Final Assembly Building under a sunny French Guiana sky and was transferred to the launch pad to be secured in place.
This flight will mark another of Arianespace’s missions with a mixed civilian/military payload, as ASTRA 3B is to provide direct-to-home (DTH) services, plus public and private satellite communications for SES ASTRA; while COMSATBw-2 will serve as a secure relay spacecraft for the delivery of key telecommunications capacity to Germany’s armed forces.
Lift performance for the Ariane 5 ECA will be more than 9,110 kg., including approximately 7,970 kg. for the two spacecraft passengers, plus the mass of the vehicle’s dual-passenger dispenser system and satellite integration hardware.
ASTRA 3B is riding in the upper position of the launcher’s payload “stack” and will be deployed at just under 28 minutes into the flight, with COMSATBw-2 located below it in the SYLDA 5 dispenser for a separation at 33 minutes after liftoff.