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Second Ariane of 2006


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#1    Waspie_Dwarf

Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 17 April 2006 - 10:10 PM

Arianespace is preparing for the second Ariane 5 launch of the year. Here are the Mission Updates:

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user posted image

March 13, 2006

Launcher elements arrive in French Guiana for Arianespace's next Ariane 5 ECA dual-satellite mission



Following the Ariane 5 ECA's dual–payload mission success on March 11, initial activity has started for Arianespace's next heavy–lift launch — which is targeted for mid–May with the Satmex 6 and THAICOM 5 satellites.

Major elements for this Ariane 5 ECA vehicle are now at the Spaceport in French Guiana, having arrived from Europe last week aboard Arianespace's MN Colibri transport ship. The launcher components were unloaded at the Pariacabo dock and transferred by road to the Spaceport (see the photo, above).

Arianespace uses two ocean–going vessels — the MN Toucan and MN Colibri — to transport large launcher components from Europe to French Guiana. This ensures a regular, and highly controlled, shipment of elements for Ariane missions.

The Satmex 6 spacecraft to be orbited by Ariane 5 will be one of the most powerful telecommunications satellites to offer coverage over the Americas. Built by Space Systems/Loral in Palo Alto, California, Satmex 6 is to carry 36 C–band and 24 Ku–band transponders. Its coverage area will reach from the northern United States to southern Argentina, and is to be capable of handling the strong demand expected for video, data and voice transmission services.

Satmex 6 will be operated by Satelites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.V. (Satmex), a leading satellite services provider for Latin America.

Joining Satmex 6 on the Ariane 5 ECA launch in May will be the Alcatel Alenia Space–built THAICOM 5 spacecraft, which will provide telecom and television services throughout the Asia/Pacific region from its orbital position at 78.5 degrees East. It will be equipped with 14 Ku–band transponders and 24 C–band transponders, and is to have a launch mass of around 2,800 kg.

Operated by Shin Satellite Public Company Limited. of Thailand, THAICOM 5 will eventually replace the company's older THAICOM 1 and 2 satellites.


Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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March 13, 2006

Mission preparations begin for Arianespace's second dual-satellite Ariane 5 flight of 2006



The heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA for Arianespace's next dual-payload mission is now taking shape at the Spaceport in French Guiana.

user posted image
The Ariane 5 ECA's cryogenic core stage is ready
to be positioned over the mobile launch table
inside the Spaceport's assembly building.


Preparations for this upcoming launch - scheduled for mid-May with the Satmex 6 and THAICOM 5 satellites - began with the positioning of Ariane 5's core cryogenic stage over the mobile launch table. This activity took place in the Launcher Integration Building, where Ariane 5's initial assembly will continue with the mating of its two solid boosters to the cryogenic stage.

The mid-May mission will mark Arianespace's second flight of 2006, and it follows the March 11 dual-payload success that placed the SPAINSAT and HOT BIRDTM 7A telecommunications platforms into highly accurate geostationary transfer orbits.

As with the next flight, the March 11 mission utilized the Ariane 5 ECA version - which has become the commercial launch service industry's true heavy-lift workhorse.

The Satmex 6 spacecraft to be orbited by the upcoming Ariane 5 launch will be operated by Satmex (Satelites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.V.), a leading satellite services provider in Latin America. Satmex 6 is one of the most powerful telecommunications satellites ever built for coverage over the Americas, with its C-band and Ku-band footprint reaching from the northern United States to southern Argentina.

The second passenger for the May mission is Thailand's THAICOM 5 spacecraft, which will provide telecom and television services throughout the Asia/Pacific region. It will join the satellite fleet operated by Shin Satellite Public Company Limited, eventually replacing the company's older THAICOM 1 and 2 relay platforms.


Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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April 4, 2006

Arianespace's heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA is fitted with its powerful upper stage



Assembly of the heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA for Arianespace's mid-May mission marked another milestone with the integration of its ESC-A upper stage.

user posted image
The ESC-A upper stage is hoisted inside the
launcher assembly building, with its Ariane 5
launcher partly visible in the background.


Produced by EADS Space Transportation, the cryogenic ESC-A upper stage is part of the propulsion system that provides increased lift capabilities for the Ariane 5 ECA. It is powered by Snecma Moteurs' proven third stage HM-7B engine - which provided years of reliable service on Ariane 4.

The Ariane 5 ECA's build-up is continuing inside the Spaceport's launcher assembly building, after which the vehicle will be transferred to the final assembly facility for integration of its dual-satellite payload.

Passengers for the mid-May flight are Satmex 6, to be operated by Satelites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.V., a leading satellite services provider in Latin America; and Thailand's THAICOM 5 spacecraft, which join the satellite fleet operated by Shin Satellite Public Company Limited.

The upcoming mission will be Arianespace's second launch of 2006, following the March 11 dual-payload success that used another Ariane 5 ECA to place the SPAINSAT and HOT BIRD™ 7A telecommunications platforms into accurate geostationary transfer orbits.


Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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April 13, 2006

The basic Ariane 5 is complete with the installation of its guidance and control systems



The heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA for Arianespace's next dual-payload mission has completed the initial build-up with the integration of its vehicle equipment bay - also known as the launcher's "brains."

user posted image
The vehicle equipment bay is readied for integration
on the Ariane 5 ECA.


Supplied by EADS Astrium, this large ring-shaped component is equipped with the power distribution system, flight control unit, telemetry system and other elements that provide flight guidance, orientation and sequencing during the Ariane 5's mission.

The vehicle equipment bay's advanced systems include highly precise laser gyros - which help give Ariane 5 the most accurate orbital injection of any commercial launch system. This ensures spacecraft payloads are placed in the right orbit, every time, thereby maximizing the satellites' revenue-producing operations during their operational lifetime.

With the vehicle equipment bay now installed, preparations are continuing with the Ariane 5 ECA inside the Spaceport's launcher integration building at French Guiana. The vehicle subsequently will be transferred to the final assembly building, where the mission's two payloads will be integrated.

Passengers for the upcoming flight, scheduled for May, are Satmex 6 and THAICOM 5. Satmex 6 will be operated by Satelites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.V., a leading satellite services provider in Latin America; while Thailand's THAICOM 5 spacecraft will join the satellite fleet operated by Shin Satellite Public Company Limited.


Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#2    Waspie_Dwarf

Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 24 April 2006 - 04:33 PM

April 22, 2006

The first payload for Arianespace's upcoming dual-satellite mission arrives in French Guiana



Preparations for Arianespace's next heavy-lift mission entered a new phase today as the first of two telecommunications satellites to be orbited by the Ariane 5 ECA arrived in French Guiana.

user posted image
The THAICOM 5 satellite is transferred from the
An-125 cargo aircraft to a flatbed truck for its trip
by road to the Spaceport.


The THAICOM 5 spacecraft for Thailand's Shin Satellite Public Company Limited touched down at Cayenne's Rochambeau International Airport aboard an Antonov An-124-100 cargo transport, and was unloaded for its trip by road to the Spaceport.

Built by Alcatel Alenia Space in Cannes, France, THAICOM 5 will provide telecom and television services throughout the Asia/Pacific region. It is to join the satellite fleet operated by eventually replacing the company's older THAICOM 1 and 2 relay platforms.

THAICOM 5 is equipped with 14 Ku-band transponders and 24 C-band transponders, and will operate from an orbital position at 78.5 degrees East.

It will be carried by the Ariane 5 ECA along with Satmex 6, a Space Systems/Loral-built satellite for Mexico's Satelites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.V.


Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#3    Waspie_Dwarf

Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 11:29 PM

April 25, 2006

Satellite preparation is in full swing for the upcoming Ariane 5 mission



The state-of-the-art S5 satellite preparation facility at Europe's Spaceport is busy with activity as the two payloads for Arianespace's upcoming heavy-lift Ariane 5 mission undergo their pre-launch checkout.

user posted image

With the arrival of both THAICOM 5 and Satmex 6 in French Guiana during the past several days, the launch campaign is now at its full pace. As the satellites progress through their preparation process in the large S5 facility, the Ariane 5 ECA is being readied in the launcher assembly building at the Spaceport.

In the photo at right, Satmex 6 is lowered on to the adapter cone that serves as the interface between the spacecraft and the Ariane 5.

Satmex 6 is based on a Space Systems/Loral FS-1300X satellite bus. It carries 36 C-band transponders for Continental U.S. and South America and Continental coverage, along with and 24 Ku-Band transponders serving the U.S., Mexico and Continental regions, with a hot spot over the major cities in South America.

The satellite will have a mass at liftoff of approximately 5,700 kg., and is to be operated by Mexico's Satelites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.V.

For Arianespace's upcoming Ariane 5 ECA mission in May, Satmex 6 will be orbited with THAICOM 5, which will join the satellite fleet of Thailand's Shin Satellite Public Company Limited. THAICOM 5 is equipped with 14 Ku-band transponders and 24 C-band transponders.

The May mission will be the second Arianespace flight of 2006, and follows the March 11 dual-payload success that placed the SPAINSAT and HOT BIRD™ 7A telecommunications platforms into highly accurate geostationary transfer orbits.


Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#4    Waspie_Dwarf

Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 11:46 PM

April 27, 2006

Europe's Spaceport prepares for another record-setting Ariane 5 performance on May 26



Arianespace has set May 26 for the liftoff of its next Ariane 5 ECA mission, as the heavy-lift launcher and its dual-satellite payload advance through their preparation process at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.

user posted image
The Ariane 5 ECA is shown on its
massive launch table in the
Spaceport's Launcher Integration
Building. At the right is the table's
mast, which has propellant feed
arms for the Ariane 5 ECA's
cryogenic upper stage.



Speaking to attendees at Arianespace's 2006 Customer Seminar this week, Chief Executive Officer Jean-Yves Le Gall said the company remains on track for a busy 2006 - with a full manifest of six Ariane 5 launches targeted during the year.

"We have a mature vehicle with the heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA, and this capable launcher is backed up by a highly motivated workforce and a proven industrial production system," Le Gall explained to invitees at the Customer Seminar, which brought together representatives from international satellite operators, spacecraft manufacturers and space agencies for a two-day briefing at the Spaceport.

Le Gall said the May 26 flight will set another payload record for a mission to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), with the launcher's Satmex 6 and Thaicom 5 satellite passengers weighing in at a combined payload mass of 8.3 metric tons.

Both Satmex 6 and Thaicom 5 are in the Spaceport's state-of-the-art S5 satellite preparation facility, while the Ariane 5 ECA is completing its initial build-up in the Launcher Integration Building.

Satmex 6 was produced by Space Systems/Loral using the manufacturer's FS-1300X spacecraft bus, and it will be operated by Mexico's Satelites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.V. Thaicom 5 is based on Alcatel Alenia Space's Spacebus satellite design, and it will join the fleet of Thailand's Shin Satellite Public Company Limited.


Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#5    Waspie_Dwarf

Waspie_Dwarf

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    Oscar Wilde

Posted 12 May 2006 - 10:09 PM

May 12, 2006

The heavy-lift Ariane 5 transfers to the Final Assembly Building for payload integration



The launch campaign for Arianespace's next heavy-lift mission moved into a new phase this week following the Ariane 5 ECA launcher's transfer to the Final Assembly Building at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.

user posted image
The mobile launch table with its Ariane 5 ECA
approaches the Final Assembly Building at Europe's Spaceport.


Riding on its massive launch table, the Ariane 5 ECA emerged from the Launcher Integration Building (where the vehicle's basic assembly was performed), and moved along a 2.5-km. semi-circular rail line to the Final Assembly Building for the installation of its dual satellite payload.

The mobile launch table is one of two that are dedicated to Ariane 5 missions, with both now configured to accommodate the heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA version - which has an increased-performance cryogenic upper stage. These two launch tables give Arianespace the capability of performing a maximum of two Ariane 5 ECA missions within a month.

Arianespace's upcoming flight remains on target for a May 26 liftoff with the Satmex 6 and Thaicom 5 satellite passengers. The combined weight of these two payloads is approximately 8.5 metric tons, representing another record-setting Ariane 5 mission to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).

The Satmex 6 satellite will have a mass at liftoff of approximately 5,700 kg., and is to be operated by Mexico's Satelites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.V. It is based on a Space Systems/Loral FS-1300X satellite bus and carries a mixed relay payload of 36 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders. Satmex 6 will provide coverage over the Continental United States, Mexico and South America.

Thaicom 5 is an Alcatel Alenia Space-built satellite that is to provide telecom and television services throughout the Asia/Pacific region from an orbital position at 78.5 degrees East. Weighing approximately 2,800 kg. at launch, it is equipped with 14 Ku-band transponders and 24 C-band transponders, and will have a launch mass of around 2,800 kg.


Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#6    Waspie_Dwarf

Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 08:58 PM

May 15, 2006

Satmex 6 and Thaicom 5 are fueled for their upcoming heavy-lift Ariane 5 launch



The two payloads to be orbited by Arianespace's next record-setting Ariane 5 ECA mission have been filled with their on-board propellant at the Spaceport in French Guiana.

The fueling took place in the state-of-the-art S5 satellite preparation facility, where both telecommunications spacecraft are continuing their final check-out for the May 26 liftoff.


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user posted image
The Thaicom 5 satellite is loaded with Monomethylhydrazine (MMH) fuel in the S5 facility's 400-sq.-meter S5B hall. Thaicom 5 was built by Alcatel Alenia Space, and is based on the European manufacturer's Spacebus satellite bus. This relay platform will be operated by Thailand's Shin Satellite Public Company Limited for Ku-band and C-band telecommunications and television services throughout the Asia/Pacific region, and is to be located at an orbital position of 78.5 degrees East.


user posted image
With a liftoff mass of approximately 2,800 kg. at launch, Thaicom 5 will be the smaller of the two satellite payloads carried by Ariane 5 on its upcoming heavy-lift mission. The three-axis stabilized spacecraft is to provide capacity enabling Shin Satellite to retire its Thaicom 1 and Thaicom 2 satellites, which were launched by Arianespace in 1997 and 1994, respectively. Arianespace also orbited Shin Satellite's Thaicom 1 spacecraft in 1993, and an Ariane 5 lofted the heavyweight THAICOM 4 (IPSTAR) telecommunications platform in August 2005 with a record liftoff mass of 6,485 kg.    


user posted image
The Satmex 6 satellite undergoes its propellant loading process in the 300-sq-meter S5A fueling hall of the S5 building. This satellite will have a mass at liftoff of approximately 5,700 kg., and is to be utilized by Mexico's Satelites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.V. to provide coverage over the Continental United States, Mexico and South America. Satmex 6 is based on Space Systems/Loral's FS-1300X satellite bus and carries a mixed relay payload of 36 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders.


Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#7    Waspie_Dwarf

Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 10:02 PM

May 17, 2006

Launcher integration begins for Ariane 5's dual-satellite payload



The record-setting payload for Arianespace's upcoming heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA mission is now being integrated with launcher hardware as preparations enter their final phase for the May 26 liftoff from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.

Our photo report from the Spaceport details the activity with Thailand's Thaicom 5 and Satmex 6 for Mexico.


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user posted image
Thaicom 5 makes its first contact with launcher hardware as the satellite is lowered onto the cone-shaped payload adapter that serves as the interface between the spacecraft and its Ariane 5. This activity was performed in the S5B integration hall of the Spaceport's state-of-the-art S5 satellite preparation building. Built by Alcatel Alenia Space, Thaicom 5 will be operated by Shin Satellite Public Company Limited for Ku-band and C-band telecommunications and television services throughout the Asia/Pacific region.


user posted image
The Satmex 6 satellite is positioned inside the spacecraft integration area of Ariane 5's Final Assembly Building, where it will be encapsulated in the launcher payload fairing (which is partly visible at left, with the Satmex 6 and Arianespace logos). With a liftoff mass of approximately 5,700 kg., Satmex 6 is more than twice the weight of the Thaicom 5 spacecraft. Together, their combined mass at launch will provide the Ariane 5 ECA with a payload weight record for a mission to geostationary transfer orbit.    


user posted image
Ariane 5's payload fairing is lowered over the Satmex 6 satellite, completing the integration process for this upper passenger in the launcher's payload "stack." The Satmex 6/payload fairing combination will then be mated with Thaicom 5, which is to be installed directly atop the Ariane 5 and enclosed in the SYLDA 5 payload dispenser system.


Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#8    Waspie_Dwarf

Waspie_Dwarf

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  • We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

    Oscar Wilde

Posted 18 May 2006 - 09:18 PM

May 18, 2006

A record-setting Ariane 5 launcher is complete!



Launch team members "topped off" the Ariane 5 ECA heavy-lift launcher today by completing the integration of its record-setting dual satellite payload, which has a combined weight of approximately 8.3 metric tons.

The following below - taken from the upper levels of the launcher Final Assembly Building at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana - detail the steps that brought together both the Thaicom 5 and Satmex 6 telecommunications satellites for the first time.


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user posted image
Team members monitor the action as the Ariane 5's upper payload component (in the background) is readied for its installation atop the launcher. This component consists of the Satmex 6 satellite, which is encapsulated in the ogive-shaped Ariane 5 payload fairing. Inside the fairing, Satmex 6 is installed on a SYLDA 5 payload dispenser, which enables the upper payload component to be placed over the Thaicom 5 lower passenger - which already has been mated to the Ariane 5, and is partly visible in the foreground.


user posted image
The upper payload component containing Satmex 6 begins its final descent over the Thaicom 5 satellite, which is sits on its cone-shaped payload adapter atop the Ariane 5 launcher. The "bending" effect at the bottom of the photo is due to the use of a fisheye camera lens. Thaicom 5 is the smaller of the two passengers on the upcoming Ariane 5 mission, with a liftoff mass set at 2,766 kg. Satmex 6's estimated mass at liftoff is 5,456 kg.


user posted image
This image clearly details the dual-satellite launch system for Ariane 5. In the foreground is Thaicom 5, which is installed on the Ariane 5's central stage. Above it is the upper payload component, with a view looking into SLYDA 5 dispenser - on which the Satmex 6 satellite is installed. Satmex 6's apogee kick motor can be seen extending into the center of the SYLDA 5 dispenser, surrounded by gold-colored insulation blankets.    


user posted image
The payload configuration for Arianespace’s upcoming heavy-lift flight is detailed in this drawing, which shows how the Satmex 6 and Thaicom 5 satellites are accommodated on the Ariane 5 ECA launcher. Liftoff of the dual-satellite flight is set for May 26 during a 45 min. launch window that opens at 6:09 p.m. at the Spaceport (21h09 GMT, 4:09 p.m. in Mexico City and 4:09 a.m. on May 27 in Bangkok).


Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#9    Waspie_Dwarf

Waspie_Dwarf

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  • We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

    Oscar Wilde

Posted 25 May 2006 - 01:43 AM

May 24, 2006

Countdown underway for a May 27 liftoff



The liftoff of Arianespace's record-setting dual-satellite mission is now set for Saturday, May 27, following additional verification checks on the Ariane 5.

These checks were performed after an equipment alert on the launch vehicle, and were carried out on the Ariane 5 inside the Final Assembly Building at Europe’s Spaceport.

Liftoff of the heavy-lift Ariane 5 with its Satmex 6 and Thaicom 5 payloads is scheduled at the start of the following 45-minute launch window:


Launch Window

Kourou,  French Guiana
From 06:09 p.m. to 06:54 p.m. on May 27, 2006

GMT
From 09:09 p.m. to 09:54 p.m. on May 27, 2006

Paris, France
From 11:09 p.m. to 11:54 p.m. on May 27, 2006

Washington, D.C.,  U.S.A.
From 05:09 p.m. to 05:54 p.m. on May 27, 2006

Mexico
From 04:09 p.m. to 04:54 p.m. on May 27, 2006

Bangkok
From 04:09 a.m. to 04:54 a.m. on May 28, 2006


Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#10    Waspie_Dwarf

Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 11:30 PM

May 25, 2006

The go-ahead is given for Ariane 5's record-setting launch


The liftoff of Arianespace's record-setting dual-satellite mission is now set for Saturday, Arianespace's heavy-lift Ariane 5 mission with the Satmex 6 and Thaicom 5 satellites has been cleared for its May 27 liftoff.

The go-ahead came with today's launch readiness review, which validated the mission-ready status of the Ariane 5 ECA and its two spacecraft passengers, along with the infrastructure at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana and the network of down-range tracking stations.

With the review's successful completion, the launch campaign has now moved into its final phase. Tomorrow, the Ariane 5 will be rolled out of the Spaceport's Final Assembly Building and transferred to the launch zone. On the May 27 launch day, the final countdown will include a last series of electrical system checks, followed by the main cryogenic stage's fueling with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen.

Liftoff of the Ariane 5 is set at the start of a 45-minute launch window that opens at 6:09 p.m. local time in French Guiana (21h09 GMT, 04:09 p.m. in Mexico City, 11:09 p.m. in Paris and 4:09 a.m. on May 28 in Bangkok).

The combined liftoff mass of the Thaicom 5 and Satmex 6 satellites is nearly 8,200 kg., which will mark a new launch vehicle performance record to geostationary transfer orbit.

Thaicom 5 - which is the smaller of the mission's two passengers with a liftoff mass targeted at 2,766 - carries a mixed payload of 14 Ku-band transponders and 25 C-band transponders. This Alcatel Alenia Space-built relay platform will join the telecom satellite fleet of Thailand's Shin Satellite Public Company Limited, and is to be located at an orbital position of 78.5 degrees East.

Satmex 6 has a mass at liftoff of approximately 5,700 kg., and is to be utilized by Mexico's Satelites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.V. to provide coverage over the Continental United States, Mexico and South America. Produced by Space Systems/Loral, Satmex 6 carries 36 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders, and will operate from an orbital slot of 113 deg. West.

The record-setting mission’s satellite payload

Satmex 6
Customer: SATELITES MEXICANOS, SA de CV
Prime contractor: SPACE SYSTEM LORAL (SSL/L)
Mission: Communications
Mass Total mass at lift-off: 5,456 kg
Dry mass: 2,310 kg
Stabilization: 3 axis stabilized
Dimensions: 7.4 x 2.8 x 3.4 m
Span in orbit: 31.4 m
Platform: LS 1300 bus
Payload: 36 C band transponders and 24 Ku band transponder
On-board power: 12,690 W (end of life)
Life time: 15 years
Orbital Position: 113º West
Coverage area: CONUS, NAFTA, South America, Hawaï, the Carribean

Thaicom 5
Customer: SHIN SATELLITE
Prime contractor: Alcatel Alenia Space
Mission: Direct TV and communications
Mass Total mass at lift-off: 2,766 kg
Dry mass: 1,220 kg
Stabilization: 3 axis stabilized
Dimensions: 3.7 x 3.3 x 2.2 m
Span in orbit: 26.2 m
Platform: SPACEBUS 3000 A
Payload: 14 Ku band transponders and 25 C band transponders
On-board power: 5,000 W (end of life)
Life time: 12 years


Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf, 25 May 2006 - 11:31 PM.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#11    Master Sage

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Posted 27 May 2006 - 12:11 AM

Good information!

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#12    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 02:12 PM

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May 26, 2006

A record-setting Ariane 5 moves to the launch zone



Preparations for Arianespace's dual-satellite Ariane 5 mission shifted to the launch zone today as the completed heavy-lift vehicle was rolled out at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.

Riding atop its massive launch table, Ariane 5 emerged from the Spaceport's Final Assembly Building at 10:45 a.m. (local time in French Guiana), and covered the 2.5 km. distance to the ELA-3 launch zone in one hour.

In the photo above, Ariane 5 approaches its final position at the ELA-3 complex's fixed tower (which is painted white with the red stripe), where the launch table will locked into position over the massive flame trenches. The dual rail system that links the Final Assembly Building (visible near the horizon in the background) with the launch zone is evident in this photograph, including the curved section of track that leads into the ELA-3 facility.

The final countdown will begin at 11 hr. 30 minutes before tomorrow's launch, which remains on schedule for a liftoff at 6:09 p.m. local time in French Guiana (21h09 GMT, 04:09 p.m. in Mexico City, 11:09 p.m. in Paris and 4:09 a.m. on May 28 in Bangkok).

This Ariane 5 flight carries another record-setting payload mass for a mission to geostationary transfer orbit, with the Thaicom 5 and Satmex 6 satellites' combined weight totaling nearly 8,200 kg.


Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#13    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 02:18 PM

May 27, 2006

Ariane 5 ECA enters the record books with an outstanding performance



Arianespace's heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA launcher logged another flawless mission today, delivering a record-setting payload of two telecommunications satellites to geostationary transfer orbit.

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Ariane 5 departs the ELA-3 complex at
Europe's Spaceport.



Lifting off at the start of a 45-min. launch window at 6:09 p.m. local time, the vehicle climbed through mostly cloudy skies over Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana and completed its mission 32 minutes later.

The combined weight of Ariane 5's Thaicom 5 and Satmex 6 spacecraft payloads was more than 8,200 kg., marking a new record for satellite mass delivered into orbit.

With this success, Arianespace has launched a total of more than 230 satellites since the company pioneered the commercial launch services industry with its first Ariane mission in 1984.


A second dual-satellite flight for two long-time customers

Arianespace CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall noted that the customers for today's mission – Mexico's Satelites Mexicanos, SA de CV., and the Shin Satellite Public Company Limited of Thailand – shared another dual satellite mission 12 years ago on an Ariane 4 launcher.

"They already were fellow travelers in 1994 with Solidaridad 2 and Thaicom 2, when the combined weight of these two satellites was 3.8 metric tons," Le Gall said in a post-launch speech at the Spaceport's Jupiter control center. "Today's mission shows the exceptional performance that we now have with the heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA."

Le Gall said Arianespace will continue to be a record-setter, both commercially and technically. The company's commercial position is strong, with 39 satellites remaining in its backlog to be launched – of which seven were signed so far this year. Its launch pace also will be maintained, with four more Ariane 5 missions and three Soyuz flights planned during the coming months for a total of 14 satellites to be orbited in 2006.

The timing for two of the upcoming launches was announced by Le Gall. He confirmed the July 17 liftoff date for a Soyuz mission with Arianespace affiliate Starsem, which will orbit the MetOp 1 metrological satellite from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The next Ariane 5 ECA mission from Europe's Spaceport will be in August, carrying the French Syracuse 3B military telecom relay platform and the Japanese JCSAT-10 telecommunications spacecraft.

"Our high quality of service and tailor-made solutions are universally acknowledged by our customers, who see Arianespace as a global benchmark in the commercial launch services industry," Le Gall added.


The 27th mission performed by Ariane 5

Despite rainy conditions for today's liftoff, Ariane 5's ascent through the lower cloud layers was clearly visible as the vehicle climbed out on the power of its cryogenic main engine and two solid rocket boosters. Satmex 6 was deployed first by Ariane 5, with its release occurring at 27 min. into the flight. It was followed five minutes later by the separation of Thaicom 5.  

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Satmex 6 and Thaicom 5 were carried on the 27th mission
performed by Ariane 5.



Today's success was Arianespace's second Ariane 5 ECA heavy-lift mission in 2006, and the 27th flight for the Ariane 5 launcher family. In just over nine months, a total of six Ariane 5s have been used by Arianespace to deliver 11 satellites into geostationary transfer orbit.

The Ariane 5 mission today also marked the fourth time that Mexico has relied on Arianespace to orbit communications satellites for the country. In addition to Satmex 6, Arianespace launched the Satmex 5 satellite in December 1998, along with Solidaridad 1 and 2 in November 1993 and 1994, respectively.

With a liftoff mass of approximately 5,500 kg., Satmex 6 carries a mixed relay payload of 36 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders for telecommunications coverage over the continental United States, Mexico and South America. The spacecraft was produced by Space Systems/Loral, and is based on the company's 1300 satellite bus. Satmex 6 will operate from an orbital slot of 113 deg. West.

"To Arianespace: brilliant...mission accomplished...well done!" exclaimed Satmex CEO Sergio Autrey in comments at the Jupiter control room. "Today, we have seen perfection. Arianespace has launched two 'beautiful twins,' which are much bigger than the satellites that were orbited together 12 years ago. Satmex is now prepared to carry on with the mission. Long live Thaicom 5 and Satmex 6!"


Shin Satellite and Arianespace: Industry pioneers with innovative solutions

Thaicom 5 was the fifth satellite orbited by Arianespace for Shin Satellite Public Company Limited, Thailand's private telecommunications operator. Thaicom 1 was launched in 1993, and was followed by Arianespace's orbiting of the three subsequent spacecraft in the series during 1994, 1997 and 2005.

To be located at an orbital position of 78.5 degrees East, the 2,760-kg. Thaicom 5 will use its payload of 14-ku band and 25 C-band transponders for direct TV and telecommunications coverage over Thailand, Southeast Asia, along with global coverage for Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia. The satellite was produced by Alcatel Alenia Space.

"Congratulations to Arianespace for today's record-setting space industry performance, and we wish you all of the success in breaking even more records in the future," said Shin Satellite President Dr. Nongluck Phinainitisart. "Shin Satellite has always pioneered new technology, and our company is very much like Arianespace in this respect. Arianespace has successfully delivered all five of our satellites to orbit, and we look to a bright future and the possibility of launching more satellites together."


Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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