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Ariane 5 October 29, 2010

Payload preparations are underway for Arianespace’s fifth Ariane 5 mission of 2010

Intelsat 17 is loaded in California for its shipment to the Spaceport in French Guiana aboard an Antonov An-124 cargo jetliner (photo at left). It joined HYLAS 1, which is shown at right after the opening of its protective shipping container in one of the Spaceport’s clean room facilities.

Both satellites for Arianespace’s next heavy-lift Ariane 5 flight – the fifth for this workhorse launcher in 2010 – are undergoing their final checkout for a November 25 liftoff.

The mission will orbit Intelsat 17 for Intelsat of the U.S., along with HYLAS 1 for operation by Avanti Communications in the United Kingdom.

Intelsat 17 will be positioned at 66 deg. East, offering programmers distribution in a region that extends across Asia and into Europe and Africa.  Built by Space Systems/Loral, Intelsat 17’s C- and Ku-band capacity will provide multi-continental coverage, and this spacecraft will replace the Intelsat 702 satellite that was launched by Arianespace in June 1994.

The HYLAS 1 spacecraft was designed and built by EADS Astrium for satellite broadband operator Avanti Communications, and will bring high-speed broadband services to remote rural areas across Europe using a highly adaptable payload.  Operating in the Ku and Ka bands, the spacecraft is designed to allocate varying amounts of power and bandwidth to the various regions within its footprint, reacting to the highs and lows of traffic demand.  The HYLAS 1 platform was provided by Antrix Corporation – the Indian Space Research Organisation’s commercial arm, with satellite assembly and qualification testing performed in Bangalore, India.

Arianespace remains on track for a total of six Ariane 5 flights in 2010.  Its most recent was yesterday’s launch, which orbited the W3B and BSAT-3b satellites.  It was preceded by three other dual-payload missions: an August 4 flight that orbited RASCOM-QAF 1R and NILESAT 201; the June 26 mission with Arabsat-5A and the COMS spacecraft; and the May 21 launch with ASTRA 3B and COMSATBw-2.

In other 2010 launch activity, an October 20 Soyuz mission performed for Arianespace by its Starsem affiliate lofted the initial six Globalstar second-generation constellation satellites from Baikonur Cosmodrome.

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Ariane 5 October 28, 2010

Ariane 5's latest success: W3B and BSAT-3b are orbited on the fourth Arianespace heavy-lift mission of 2010

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