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Ariane 5 May 13, 2011

Preparations for Arianespace’s third Ariane 5 mission of 2011 move into their final phase

GSAT-8 is hoisted inside the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building (photo at left) for its integration atop the Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s upcoming mission (center photo). In the photo at right, GSAT-8 is shown installed on its launcher in the background, while visible in the foreground are propellant feed arms that lead from the Ariane 5 mobile launch table’s mast to the vehicle’s cryogenic upper stage.

India’s GSAT-8 multi-mission satellite has been integrated on the Ariane 5 launcher for Arianespace’s third flight of 2011, moving this mission campaign into its final preparations for a May 19 liftoff from the Spaceport in French Guiana.

GSAT-8 is now positioned as the lower spacecraft in Ariane 5’s dual-payload “stack,” clearing the way for installation of the ST-2 satellite as the upper passenger.

Designed, assembled and integrated by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in Bangalore using an I-3K platform, GSAT-8 weighs approximately 3,100 kg. for launch, and carries 24 transponders to augment India’s Ku-band relay capabilities in direct television broadcasting.  It also is configured with the two-channel GAGAN (GPS and GEO augmented navigation) system for aircraft navigation assistance over Indian airspace and in adjoining areas.

The ST-2 satellite was built by Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric Corporation using a DS2000 platform, and will have an estimated liftoff mass of 5,090 kg. Equipped with Ku-band and C-band transponders, ST-2 will provide 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.  It will be operated by ST-2 Satellite Ventures Pte Ltd., a joint venture of Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel) and Chunghwa Telecom Company Limited (Chunghwa).

Ariane 5 May 12, 2011

The launch cadence continues in 2011: Another Ariane 5 begins its assembly at the Spaceport

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