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Fifth Ariane Mission of 2006


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#16    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 11:59 PM

December 8, 2006

Ariane 5 wraps up a successful year with another on-target mission


Ariane 5 completed a busy year of launch operations today with its fifth successful flight of 2006, orbiting two American built-satellite passengers for U.S. telecommunications operators.



The heavy-lift Ariane 5 lifted off from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana right on time at 7:08 p.m. (22h08 GMT) and released its WildBlue-1 and AMC-18 payloads into geostationary transfer orbit duing a 32-minute mission.

With tonight's launch, Arianespace's workhorse Ariane 5 orbited a total of 10 primary satellites and one auxiliary passenger during 2006, lofting more than 38,000 metric tons of commercial payloads since January 1. In addition, the Starsem affiliate of Arianespace orbited one satellite this year using a Soyuz ST vehicle launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome, and another Starsem Soyuz mission is planned for December 27.

These operations underscore the fact that Arianespace's flexible and comprehensive approach to commercial space launch operations – known by the slogan: "Service and Solutions" – is a reality, explained CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall. He also noted that today's flight was the 16th consecutive success for an Ariane 5.

"This was another remarkable year for Ariane 5, which launched more satellites in 2006 than all of our competitors combined," Le Gall said in comments at the Spaceport. "In addition, the 12 contracts we signed in 2006 represent commercial payloads will fill the equivalent of seven Ariane 5s...so we'll have many more evenings like this ahead of us."

During Ariane 5's year-ending mission, the WildBlue-1 satellite was deployed first, released by the launcher approximately 27 minutes into the flight. This was followed about five minutes later by the separation of AMC-18.

Successful deployment of WildBlue-1 and AMC-18

WildBlue-1 was produced in California by Space Systems/Loral, and will be used by Colorado-based WildBlue Communications for direct two-way wireless Internet access across the contiguous United States. This pioneering all-Ka-band satellite will provide services targeted specifically for homes and small offices in areas where terrestrial broadband access alternatives are either limited or unavailable.

When WildBlue-1 enters service at an orbital slot of 111 deg. West, the Colorado-based WildBlue Communications will be able triple the capacity for customers in the United States. The company initiated its Internet connectivity service by using relay capacity on Telesat's Anik F2 satellite – which was launched by an Ariane 5 in July 2004.

On today's flight, the AMC-18 satellite rode in the lower passenger slot on Ariane 5. Once it begins operation at 105 deg. West, it will expand the satellite fleet of New Jersey-based SES AMERICOM – a member of the SES GLOBAL satellite telecommunications group. SES AMERICOM distributes cable, TV and radio broadcasts, telecommunications services, business television and broadband data throughout the Americas and transoceanic regions.

"AMC-18 is the 25th satellite launched by Arianespace for SES GLOBAL, representing 22 years of cooperation," Arianespace's Le Gall added. "I would like to thank you very much for your confidence."

Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems built AMC-18 at its California production facility, and the spacecraft carries 24 C-band transponders.

The payload performance for Ariane 5's year-ending heavy-lift flight was a total of 7,886 kg. This includes the two satellite passengers (4,735 kg. for WildBlue-1, and 2,080 kg. for AMC-18), along with the mass of Ariane 5's SYLDA 5 dual-payload dispenser system, the satellite/launcher interface adapters and other associated hardware.

While tonight's mission was the final Ariane 5 flight of 2006, the remaining Arianespace-related launch is set for December 27, utilizing a Soyuz vehicle from Baikonur Cosmodrome to orbit Europe's COROT satellite. This space science mission will be performed under management of the Starsem affiliate, and COROT was booked by Arianespace specifically for launch on the medium-lift Soyuz.


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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#17    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 02:32 AM

Kourou, December 8, 2006

5 for 5 for Ariane 5 in 2006 - Successful launch of WildBlue-1 and AMC-18


On Friday evening, December 8, Arianespace placed two satellites into geostationary transfer orbit for two private American operators: WildBlue-1 for WildBlue Communications and AMC-18 for SES AMERICOM.

30th Ariane 5 launch, 16th success in a row



The latest successful launch of an Ariane 5, the fifth in 2006, confirms that Arianespace sets the global standard for launch services, with solutions meeting the needs of both private and governmental operators around the world.

Over the last 12 months, Arianespace has orbited 12 communications satellites, plus an experimental payload.

Today, Ariane 5 is the only commercial launcher in service capable of simultaneously launching two payloads.

Launches for two prestigious American customers


Arianespace's selection by both the leading satcom operators in the United States and a new American operator in this sector, is clear recognition of the company's top-quality launch service.

Colorado-based WildBlue Communications started its Internet service offering by using capacity on Telesat's Anik F2 satellite, launched by an Ariane 5 in July 2004. With the WildBlue-1 satellite, the company will be able to expand its broadband service offering to consumers and small businesses located in zones where ground-based services do not exist.

AMC-18 is the 25th SES Global (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Bourse: SESG) satellite to use an Ariane launcher. SES Global is the leading private satellite operator in the world. The AMC-18 satellite will be operated by SES AMERICOM, the largest supplier of satellite services in the United States, which operates a fleet of 18 satellites, and primarily serves the Americas. As part of the SES Global family, SES AMERICOM can provide end-to-end telecommunications solutions anywhere in the world.

WildBlue-1/AMC-18 mission at a glance


The mission was carried out by an Ariane 5 ECA launcher from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Liftoff was on Friday, December 8, at 7:08 pm local time in Kourou (5:08 pm in Washington, DC, 22:08 UT and 11:08 pm in Paris).

Provisional parameters at injection of the cryogenic upper stage (ESC-A) were:
Perigee: 249.4 km for a target of 250.0 km (±3)
Apogee: 35,922 km for a target of 35,947 km (±160)
Inclination: 2.0 degrees for a target of 2.0 degrees (±0.06º)

WildBlue-1 is one of the first satellites to be totally dedicated to broadband Internet services. Built by Space Systems/Loral in Palo Alto, California, WildBlue-1 weighed 4,735 kg at launch. Offering 35 spotbeams, it will enable operator WildBlue Communications to provide broadband Internet access for the contiguous United States - even in the most isolated regions of the country. It will be positioned at 111.1° West.

AMC-18, built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems in Sunnyvale, California using an A2100 platform, weighed 2,081 kg at launch. It is fitted with 24 active high-power C-band transponders and offers a minimum design life of 15 years. AMC-18 will provide cable TV distribution services for the United States from its orbital position at 105° West.

The Ariane 5 launcher fairing bears the inscription "Ciutat de Barcelona", as part of the Community of Ariane Cities initiative. The city of Barcelona is president of this association in 2006. The Community of Ariane Cities was founded to foster the economic, cultural and educational development of the cities involved directly or indirectly in the European space transportation program.


Source: Arianespace Press Release

"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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#18    Waspie_Dwarf

Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 02:39 AM

Fifth Ariane 5 launch completes a busy year


Ariane 5 ECA lifts off from Europe's Spaceport in French
Guiana at night

Credits: ESA/CNES/ARIANESPACE-Service Optique CSG


9 December 2006
On 8 December 2006, the fifth Ariane 5 launch of 2006 took place. An Ariane 5 ECA launcher lifted off from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on its mission to place two satellites into geostationary transfer orbits. Lift-off of flight V174 took place at 22:08 GMT/UTC (19:08 local time, 23:08 CET/Paris). The satellites were accurately injected into the correct transfer orbits about 30 minutes later.

The payload satellites were WildBlue-1, which occupied the upper position in the payload ‘stack’ on the launch vehicle, and AMC-18, which was installed in the lower position.

WildBlue-1, with a lift-off mass of 4735 kg, will provide direct two-way wireless Internet access across the contiguous United States. AMC-18, which weighed 2080 kg at lift-off, will provide cable television services to the 50 United States and the Caribbean.


Flight timeline

The Ariane 5’s cryogenic, liquid fuelled, main engine was ignited first. Seven seconds later, the solid fuel rocket boosters were also fired, and a fraction of a second after that, the launch vehicle lifted off.

The solid boosters were jettisoned 2 min: 20sec after main engine ignition, and the fairing protecting the payload during the climb through the Earth’s atmosphere was discarded at 3 min: 07sec. The launcher’s main engine was shut down at 8 min:55 sec and the main cryogenic stage separated from the upper stage and its payload just over nine minutes into the flight.

Four seconds after main stage separation, the engine of the launcher’s cryogenic upper stage was ignited to continue the journey. The upper stage engine was shut down at 24 min:45 sec into the flight, at which point the launch vehicle was travelling at over 9300 metres per second (nearly 33 500 km/h) at an altitude of 672 kilometres and the conditions for geostationary transfer orbit injection had been achieved.

At 26 min:52 sec, WildBlue-1 separated from the launcher, followed AMC-18 at 32 min:02 sec. The mission ended 58 min:05 sec after main engine ignition.


Ariane 5 ECA

Ariane 5 ECA is the latest version of the Ariane 5 launcher. It is designed to place payloads weighing up to 9.6 tonnes into geostationary transfer orbit. With its increased capacity, Ariane 5 ECA can handle dual launches of very large satellites.


Source: ESA - News

"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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