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Ariane 5 June 30, 2011

Ready for launch: Arianespace’s fourth Ariane 5 of 2011 rolls out for its July 1 liftoff

Riding atop its mobile launch table, the Ariane 5 with ASTRA 1N and BSAT-3c/JCSAT-110R moves into the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone.

The Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone has welcomed another heavy-lift Ariane 5 as preparations enter the final phase for Arianespace’s dual-passenger mission tomorrow with the ASTRA 1N and BSAT-3c/JCSAT-110R satellites.

Emerging from the Final Assembly Building in the French Guiana sunshine, the Ariane 5 was transferred atop one of two operational mobile launch tables for the workhorse Arianespace vehicle.

All is ready for the countdown leading to a liftoff on July 1 during a launch window that opens at 6:43 p.m. (21h43 Universal time) on Arianespace’s fourth mission in 2011.  The two passengers for this flight are direct-to-home (DTH) television broadcasting satellites with coverage over Europe and Japan, which are to be delivered to geostationary transfer orbit by the Ariane 5.

To be deployed first during the 38-minute mission is ASTRA 1N, which was built by EADS Astrium in Toulouse, France for the Luxembourg-based operator SES Astra.  Based on Astrium’s Eurostar E3000 platform, ASTRA 1N has an estimated liftoff mass of 5,350 kg. and is fitted with 52 active Ku-band transponders.  It initially is to deliver interim capacity from an orbital position of 28.2 deg. East, and subsequently will move to SES ASTRA’s prime location at 19.2 deg. East for primary and backup services during a designed operational lifetime of 15 years.

BSAT-3c/JCSAT-110R was manufactured by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems at its plant in Newtown, Pennsylvania as part of a turnkey contract for Japanese operators B-SAT Corporation and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation.  Produced using an A2100 A platform, this satellite will weigh approximately 2,910 kg. at launch, and is to be positioned at 110 deg. East longitude in geostationary orbit, and offers a design life exceeding 16 years. BSAT-3c/JCSAT-110R is fitted with 24 active Ku-band transponders, and is primarily designed to provide direct TV broadcast links for all of Japan.

Tomorrow’s mission follows Arianespace’s previous Ariane 5 flights in 2011 that orbited the ST-2 and GSAT-8 telecommunications satellites on May 20; the Yahsat Y1A and Intelsat New Dawn relay spacecraft on April 22; and the Johannes Kepler Automated Transfer Vehicle for servicing of the International Space Station on February 16.

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Ariane 5 June 29, 2011

Approval is given for Arianespace's July 1 heavy-lift mission with the ASTRA 1N and BSAT-3c/JCSAT-110R payloads

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