Arianespace’s fifth Ariane 5 mission of 2011 is set for launch tonight
Following a one-day delay, Arianespace’s Ariane 5 launch with the Arabsat-5C and SES-2 telecommunications satellites is scheduled for liftoff tonight.
This fifth heavy-lift mission of 2011 will have a total payload performance of approximately 8,975 kg., of which 7,830 kg. is the combined mass for the two satellite passengers to be deployed into geostationary transfer orbits.
SES-2 will join the fleet of European satellite telecommunications operator SES, and is to be positioned at 87 deg. West for coverage over North America and the Caribbean. Manufactured by Orbital Sciences Corporation of the U.S., the spacecraft carries 24 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders. Included on the SES-2 platform is the Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload (CHIRP) sensor for the U.S. Air Force – which integrates a wide-field of view sensor.
The multi-mission Arabsat-5C platform to be lofted on tonight’s Ariane 5 mission was developed for the Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Arabsat) to deliver capacity in both the C- and Ka-bands for a range of communications services. It was produced in a joint effort by Europe’s EADS Astrium and Thales Alenia Space, and will be positioned at Arabsat’s 20 deg. East orbital location.