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Waspie_Dwarf

Fourth Ariane of 2006

23 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Whilst Arianespace is preparing for the third Ariane 5 launch of the year it has already began preperations for its fourth launch campaign of 2006.

See also: Second Ariane of 2006

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July 28, 2006

A second Ariane 5 ECA launch campaign is underway at the Spaceport

Arianespace is carrying out parallel launch campaigns at Europe's Spaceport with the heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA, demonstrating the company's flexibility to launch customer payloads when they are ready.

user posted image

The cryogenic core stage for the parallel Ariane 5

ECA launch campaign is prepared for the startup

of integration.

As one Ariane 5 ECA is awaiting the integration of its dual-satellite payload for an August 11 liftoff, a second vehicle is now taking shape in preparation for the subsequent launch - which also will carry a multiple spacecraft passengers.

The Ariane 5 ECA for Arianespace's August 11 mission is inside the Spaceport's Final Assembly Building, where it will soon will be fitted with JCSAT-10 civilian telecommunications satellite for Japan's JSAT Corporation and the French Syracuse 3B military relay platform.

Approximately 2.5 km. away, a newly-arrived Ariane 5 ECA has begun its build-up in the Launcher Integration Building, where the cryogenic core stage has erected and will be mated with the two solid boosters.

The Spaceport is designed to allow such campaigns to be performed simultaneously, with two Ariane 5 launch tables available for parallel vehicle preparation, a dual processing capability inside the separate Launcher Integration and Final Assembly Buildings, and the capacity for six spacecraft to be readied at the same time in available clean room facilities.

Arianespace has performed two Ariane 5 ECA missions this year - placing a total of four payloads into accurate geostationary transfer orbits. The company's goal is to carry out as many as six Ariane 5 flights in 2006.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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August 3, 2006

Increased performance cryogenic upper stage installed on Ariane 5

The second Ariane 5 ECA taking shape at the Spaceport in French Guiana has received its cryogenic ESC-A upper stage as preparations continue for Arianespace's fourth heavy-lift mission in 2006.

user posted image

The ESC-A cryogenic upper stage is raised for

integration atop its Ariane 5 launcher.

Supplied by EADS Space Transportation, the ESC-A upper stage is part of the upgraded propulsion system that provides increased lift capabilities for the Ariane 5 ECA. The ESC-A system is powered by Snecma Moteurs' proven third stage HM-7B cryogenic engine - which set an industry record on Ariane 5's most recent mission on May 27 with its 78th consecutive successful flight.

In addition to its use on Ariane 5, the HM-7B provided reliable service during many years of service on the Ariane 4 launcher version.

The build-up of this new Ariane 5 is taking place inside the Launcher Integration Building at the Spaceport. Nearby, the Ariane 5 for Arianespace's next mission is nearly complete for an August 11 liftoff with a dual-satellite payload.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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August 11, 2006

Arianespace schedules its next Ariane 5 ECA mission for September

Arianespace's next Ariane 5 ECA heavy-lift launcher will carry two primary payloads and an auxiliary passenger on its September 19 mission from Europe's Spaceport.

user posted image

The launch timing was announced by Arianespace Chief Executive Officer Jean-Yves Le Gall following tonight's dual-launch Ariane 5 ECA mission success.

Primary passengers for the September flight will be Optus D1 telecommunications/broadcast satellite for Australia's Optus and the DIRECTV 9S television programming relay spacecraft for DIRECTV of the United States.

Joining these two payloads will be the LDREX deployable satellite demonstrator for JAXA (the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency).

The Ariane 5 for this September's mission is basically complete for its initial build-up, which was performed in the Spaceport's Launcher Assembly Building. It will soon be transferred from this facility to the Final Assembly Building - which until yesterday had been occupied by the Ariane 5 ECA that successfully launched the JCSAT-10 and Syracuse 3B satellites this evening..

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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August 17, 2006

Satellite check-out begins for Arianespace's next multiple-payload Ariane 5 mission

Preparations for Arianespace's mid-September Ariane 5 ECA flight have moved into a new phase with the arrival this week of the mission's first payload: the DIRECTV 9S television relay spacecraft for DIRECTV of the U.S.

user posted image

The Space Systems/Loral-built satellite arrived in French Guiana yesterday, touching down at Cayenne's Rochambeau International Airport aboard a chartered Antonov An-125 cargo airlifter. DIRECTV 9S was transferred to Europe's Spaceport, where the spacecraft was removed from its special shipping container inside the S5 satellite preparation building's clean room facility.

This payload will be launched on the next heavy-lift Ariane 5 along with the Optus D1 telecommunications/broadcast satellite for Australia's Optus. Joining these two primary passengers will be the LDREX deployable satellite antenna demonstrator for JAXA (the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency).

Arianespace has performed three Ariane 5 flights so far in 2006, placing a total of six satellite payloads into accurate geostationary transfer orbits this year. The most recent was on August 11, when a heavy-lift Ariane 5 orbited Japan's JCSAT-10 commercial telecommunications spacecraft and the French Syracuse 3B military relay platform.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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Posted (edited)

August 22, 2006

Optus D1 arrives at the Spaceport for its upcoming Ariane 5 launch

The second primary payload for Arianespace’s heavy-lift Ariane 5 flight in September is now at the Spaceport.

Australia’s Optus D1 satellite arrived in French Guiana aboard a Boeing 747 cargo jetliner and was transferred from Cayenne’s Rochambeau International Airport to the Spaceport – where it was removed from the protective shipping container inside the S5 spacecraft preparation facility.

user posted image

After an initial verification, Optus D1 made its first contact with Ariane 5 hardware when the satellite was lowered onto the cone-shaped adapter that will serve as the interface between the payload and the launch vehicle.

Optus D1 was built by U.S. satellite manufacturer Orbital Sciences Corporation, and is the first of Optus’ D-series spacecraft to be launched. It will provide fixed communication and broadcasting satellite services with geographical coverage of Australia and New Zealand.

For next month’s Ariane 5 ECA mission, Optus D1 will be launched along with the DIRECTV 9S television relay spacecraft for DIRECTV of the United States.

Also joining these two primary payloads will be the LDREX-2 deployable satellite antenna demonstrator for JAXA (the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), which is carried as an auxiliary passenger on Ariane 5.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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August 24, 2006

DIRECTV 9S is readied for Arianespace's mid-September Ariane 5 launch

The larger of Ariane 5's two primary payloads for its mid-September mission has made initial contact with launcher hardware as the DIRECTV 9S broadcast satellite undergoes preflight checkout at the Spaceport in French Guiana.

user posted image

During the spacecraft's preparation activity, DIRECTV 9S was temporarily installed atop the cone-shaped adapter unit that is to serve as its interface with the Ariane 5 launcher. This "fit check" ensures a perfect match-up of the satellite with its adapter before DIRECTV 9S is filled with its on-board propellant. Once the fueling process is completed, DIRECTV 9S will be definitively mated to the adapter unit, and then integrated atop Ariane 5.

Built by Space Systems/Loral, DIRECTV 9S will have a liftoff mass of about 5,500 kg., and is to be installed in the upper passenger position on Ariane 5's payload "stack." Once in orbit, it will join the satellite constellation of DIRECTV, the U.S. digital television service provider that serves more than 15.5 million customers.

DIRECTV 9S will be orbited along with Australia's Optus D1 telecommunications satellite, which was built in the U.S. by Orbital Sciences Corporation of Virginia.

Accompanying these two primary payloads on the September Ariane 5 flight will be LDREX-2, a deployable satellite antenna demonstrator for JAXA (the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), which is riding as an auxiliary payload.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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August 31, 2006

Ariane 5 is fitted with its Japanese "piggyback" payload

A Japanese auxiliary payload for Ariane 5's next mission has been integrated with its launch vehicle hardware as preparations continue for Arianespace's upcoming heavy-lift flight.

user posted image

LDREX-2 is lowered onto its two mounting points on

the ASAP platform.

Developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the LDREX-2 antenna demonstrator was installed on a ring-shaped platform designed to accommodate small supplemental payloads for Ariane 5 missions. This integration activity with the ASAP platform (Ariane Structure for Auxiliary Payloads) took place in the integration hall clean-room area that is part of the Ariane 5's Final Assembly Building at Europe's Spaceport.

LDREX-2 is designed to validate the deployment process for a large, lightweight antenna reflector that will be used on Japan's ETS-8 engineering test satellite.

The LDREX-2 is a 1/25th scale version of the full-size ETS-8 antenna, and the demonstrator will have a diameter of 6 meters when fully deployed during the Ariane 5 mission. In its stowed configuration on the ASAP platform, the auxiliary payload is 1.9 meters long and 60 centimeters wide.

user posted image

This overhead view of the ASAP platform

shows LDREX-2, at left, and its two

associated electronic boxes, to the right.

Marie-Anne Luron, Arianespace's project manager for the LDREX-2 payload, said the subscale antenna reflector will deploy during the Ariane 5 mission in a multi-step process that takes approximately 45 minutes. The process will be commanded by Ariane 5's flight guidance and sequencing system, and data from the antenna's deployment is to be downlinked in real time to the tracking station in Malindi, Kenya.

The LDREX-2/ASAP combination will be at the base of the Ariane 5's payload "stack," and the deployment will occur after the separation of the mission's two primary passengers: Australia's Optus D1 telecommunications satellite, and the DIRECTV 9S television broadcast spacecraft for DIRECTV of the United States.

LDREX-2 occupies four of the eight mounting positions that are available on Ariane 5's ASAP platform: two are used for the antenna structure, while two more are filled by a pair of accompanying electronic units.

Once its deployment sequence is complete, LDREX-2 will be ejected from Ariane 5's upper stage, remaining in orbit for a period of time before the lightweight structure burns up in the atmosphere on reentry.

This is the second time that Arianespace has flown an LDREX experiment for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The initial antenna demonstrator was carried by an Ariane 5 in December 2000.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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September 7, 2006

Ariane 5 will launch two U.S.-built payloads on its next heavy-lift mission

Arianespace's upcoming Ariane 5 mission will carry a dual payload that symbolizes the company's long-time relationship with U.S. satellite operators and manufacturers.

user posted image

LDREXOptus D1 is one of two

U.S.-built satellites to be orbited on

Ariane 5's next mission.

This heavy-lift launch will orbit a Space Systems/Loral-built broadcast satellite for the delivery of U.S. television programming, along with the Optus D1 telecom satellite, manufactured by Orbital Sciences Corp. for Australia's Optus.

"U.S. satellite manufacturers and telecommunications operators have represented an important part of Arianespace's business from the very start," explained Clayton Mowry, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Arianespace, Inc. affiliate. "These clients appreciate the quality of our service, the capacity offered with Ariane's launch cadence and dual-payload manifesting, as well as our willingness to innovate to meet the industry's changing needs."

For the upcoming Ariane 5 launch - which is now targeted for late September - the television broadcast satellite will be the larger of the two primary payloads, with a liftoff mass of about 5,500 kg. It was built by Space Systems/Loral in Palo Alto, California, and will be installed in the upper passenger position on Ariane 5's payload "stack."

To date, a total of 32 Space Systems/Loral satellites have been booked with Arianespace, with 30 of them already launched.

The accompanying Optus D1 spacecraft will be integrated in Ariane 5's lower payload slot, and is to weigh approximately 2,350 kg. for liftoff. Produced at Orbital Sciences Corporation's facility in Dulles, Virginia, Optus D1 is based on the company's successful STAR series of smaller-sized spacecraft.

Arianespace has lofted 10 Orbital Sciences Corp. satellites out of 12 signed for its commercial launch services.

U.S. customers have relied on Arianespace launch services from the company's origins. Its first commercial contract was signed in 1981 with GTE Spacenet for the Spacenet 1 telecommunications satellite. This RCA Astro-built payload was orbited on Arianespace's maiden flight, performed in May 1984 with an Ariane 1 vehicle.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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September 19, 2006

Final integration begins for the next heavy-lift Ariane 5 flight

The Ariane 5 for Arianespace's upcoming heavy-lift mission has moved to the Final Assembly Building, clearing the way for integration of its three-element payload at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.

user posted image

The ASAP platform with its LDREX-2 auxiliary

payload is lowered onto Ariane 5 in the Final

Assembly Building.

Ariane 5's transfer occurred last Friday, when the vehicle rolled from the Launcher Integration Building (where it underwent the initial build-up) to the final assembly facility.

This activity was followed by yesterday's installation of the ASAP platform (Ariane Structure for Auxiliary Payloads) atop Ariane 5, complete with its Japanese LDREX-2 "piggyback" payload. The ASAP platform is designed to accommodate small secondary payloads on Ariane 5 missions, and is fitted with the LDREX-2 antenna demonstrator for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

During the next flight, Ariane 5 will deploy its two primary passengers – Australia's Optus D1 telecommunications satellite, and the U.S. DIRECTV 9S broadcast spacecraft for DIRECTV – followed by the unfurling of LDREX-2, which is a 1/25th scale version of the full-size antenna for Japan's ETS-8 engineering test satellite.

The LDREX-2 payload occupies four of the eight mounting positions available on Ariane 5's ASAP platform: two are used for the Japanese antenna structure itself, while two more are filled by a pair of accompanying electronic units.

Arianespace's upcoming Ariane 5 mission will be the company's fourth launch of 2006. The previous flights orbited six primary satellite payloads through August – more than both of its competitors combined.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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September 21, 2006

Optus D1 is fueled for its upcoming launch on Ariane 5

Preparations of the dual-satellite payload for Ariane 5's mission are in full swing at the Spaceport in French Guiana, with the Optus D1 satellite completing its propellant loading process.

user posted image

Optus D1 is fueled in the S5B hall.

The spacecraft was fueled this week in the S5B hall of the Spaceport's large S5 payload preparation facility, marking another milestone leading to the liftoff of Ariane 5 on October 12.

Optus D1 is the first of the D-series telecommunications spacecraft to be launched for Australia's Optus, and will provide fixed communications and broadcasting satellite services with geographical coverage of Australia and New Zealand.

Built by Orbital Sciences Corporation in Dulles, Virginia, the satellite will weigh approximately 2,350 kg. at liftoff. It will be joined by the 5,500-kg. DIRECTV 9S television broadcast satellite for DIRECTV of the United States.

The October 12 mission will be Arianespace's fourth Ariane 5 launch of 2006, and also will carry the Japanese LDREX-2 auxiliary payload - which will demonstrate the deployment sequence for a satellite communications antenna.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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September 27, 2006

The DIRECTV 9S satellite is fueled at the Spaceport

The intricate fueling process for both primary payloads on Ariane 5's upcoming mission has now been completed in the state-of-the-art S5 satellite processing facility at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.

user posted image

DIRECTV 9S undergoes its bipropellant

fueling in the S5 hall..

DIRECTV 9S - the larger of Ariane 5's two passengers - was "topped off" with its bipropellant load yesterday in the S5A hall of the massive S5 building. This follows last week's fueling of the Optus D1 spacecraft in the adjacent S5B high bay.

The S5 building is composed of three primary preparation halls (S5A, S5B and S5C), all of which are internal connected by corridors. This allows multiple payloads to simultaneously undergo their full preparation process, from initial checkout to fueling and final pre-launch validation, under one roof in and in clean room conditions.

DIRECTV 9S was built by Space Systems/Loral in Palo Alto, California, and will have a liftoff mass of about 5,500 kg. It will ride in the upper passenger position on Ariane 5's payload "stack," and once in orbit, is to join the satellite constellation of DIRECTV - the U.S. digital television service provider that serves more than 15.5 million customers.

Accompanying DIRECTV 9S on Ariane 5's October 12 mission will be the Optus D1 telecommunications satellite for Australia's Optus, which was produced in the U.S. by Orbital Sciences Corporation of Virginia.

Also included on Ariane 5's upcoming mission is the LDREX-2, a deployable satellite antenna demonstrator for JAXA (the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), which is riding as an auxiliary payload. LDREX-2 will demonstrate the deployment sequence for a satellite communications antenna, and is to have a diameter of 6 meters when fully unfurled.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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October 2, 2006

DIRECTV 9S is integrated on Ariane 5's multiple payload dispenser

The initial step in integrating Arianespace's dual-satellite payload for its upcoming Ariane 5 mission is now complete at the Spaceport in French Guiana, with DIRECTV 9S installed atop the SYLDA 5 dispenser system.

user posted image

DIRECTV 9S is lowered onto the

SYLDA 5 dispenser in the Ariane 5

Final Assembly building at Europe's

Spaceport.

DIRECTV 9S was mounted on SYLDA 5 during activity in the Ariane 5's Final Assembly Building, where the mating process was performed in clean-room conditions.

The SYLDA 5 dispenser is at the heart of Ariane 5's multiple payload deployment system. It enables DIRECTV 9S to ride in the upper passenger position of Ariane 5's payload "stack" for the October 12 flight, with the smaller Optus 1D satellite positioned below it.

DIRECTV 9S is to be deployed at approximately 27 minutes into the mission. This will be followed about three minutes later by the jettisoning of SYLDA 5, exposing Optus D1 for its release from Ariane 5 at 32 minutes after liftoff.

The DIRECTV 9S television broadcast platform will have an estimated mass at liftoff of 5,535 kg., while Optus D1 will weigh in at 2,299 kg. Once in orbit, DIRECTV 9S will join the spacecraft fleet of U.S. digital television service provider DIRECTV, which serves more than 15.5 million customers. Optus D1 will provide fixed communications and broadcasting satellite services for Australia's Optus, offering geographical coverage of Australia and New Zealand.

Optus D1 and DIRECTV 9S will be accompanied on the Ariane 5 mission by Japan's LDREX-2 auxiliary payload - which will demonstrate the deployment sequence for a large satellite communications antenna. LDREX-2 is to be positioned at the base of Ariane 5's payload "stack," and its activation will occur after the separation of the two primary satellites.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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October 4, 2006

Optus D1 is mated to the Ariane 5 launcher

Preparations for Arianespace's fourth heavy-lift mission of 2006 have moved into a new phase this week as the dual-satellite payload began its integration on the Ariane 5 launcher.

user posted image

Launch team members prepare to

complete Optus D1's installation on

the Ariane 5.

This activity, which is being performed in the upper levels of the Spaceport's Ariane 5 Final Assembly Building, began yesterday with installation of Optus D1 atop the launcher's core stage.

In the photo at left, Optus D1 is shown in its mated position on the Ariane 5. Built by Orbital Sciences Corporation in Dulles, Virginia, the satellite weighs approximately 2,350 kg., and is to provide fixed communications and broadcasting satellite services over Australia and New Zealand for Australia's Optus.

At the base of Optus D1's dark-colored cone-shaped adapter is the ring-shaped platform called ASAP (Ariane Structure for Auxiliary Payloads), which carries the mission's "piggyback" LDREX-2 antenna demonstrator. LDREX-2 is visible in the foreground, protected by a temporary green covering, while its accompanying electronic support units are installed on the ASAP platform's opposite side.

With Optus D1 now in place, the next step will be to integrate the upper portion of Ariane 5's payload "stack." This consists of the 5,500-kg. DIRECTV 9S television broadcast satellite, which previously was mounted on the SPELDA 5 payload dispenser system, and subsequently was encapsulated in Ariane 5's protective payload fairing.

The DIRECTV 9S/SPELDA 5/fairing combination will be positioned over the Optus D1 spacecraft, completing the payload configuration.

Liftoff of the Ariane 5 is scheduled for October 12 during a one-hour launch window that opens at 5:56 p.m., local time at the Spaceport in French Guiana.

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Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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October 6, 2006

Arianespace completes the integration of its next Ariane 5 launcher

Arianespace's fourth heavy-lift mission of 2006 is one major step closer to liftoff following the final integration of its multi-satellite payload.

user posted image

Assembly of the Ariane 5 launch vehicle was completed when the upper element of its payload "stack" - containing the DIRECTV 9S satellite and the SYLDA dispenser system - was placed over the Optus D1 spacecraft, which previously was installed atop the launch vehicle's core stage.

The upcoming mission is another demonstration of Arianespace's mission flexibility with the heavy-lift Ariane 5. This flight brings together one large television broadcast platform, the 5,500-kg. DIRECTV 9S, with one of the telecommunication industry's smaller-sized spacecraft, the 2,350 kg. Optus D1.

After its deployment during the October 12 flight, DIRECTV 9S will join the spacecraft fleet of U.S. digital television service provider DIRECTV. Optus D1 is being launched for Australia's Optus, and it will provide fixed communications and broadcasting satellite services with geographical coverage of Australia and New Zealand.

Accompanying these satellites on the Ariane 5 mission is the LDREX-2 sub-scale demonstrator for a deployable communications satellite antenna.

user posted image

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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October 10, 2006

Liftoff Ariane 5 ECA - DIRECTV 9S - OPTUS D1: launch delayed by 24 hours

In order to carry out additional checks on components of the launcher, Arianespace has decided to postpone the launch Ariane 5 ECA - DIRECTV 9S - OPTUS D1 by 24 hours.

The launch is now slated for the night of Friday, October 13, 2006, at the opening of the following launch window:

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Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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October 11, 2006

The launch readiness review approves Ariane 5's October 13 liftoff

The launch campaign for Arianespace's next heavy-lift Ariane 5 mission moved into its final phase today with the go-ahead for launch, which was given following the readiness review conducted at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.

user posted image

A launch team member takes photos of the Optus

decal on Ariane 5's payload fairing.

This key milestone, which is performed prior to every Ariane launch, validates the readiness of Ariane 5, its satellite payload, the Spaceport's infrastructure and the down-range tracking stations.

All is now set for tomorrow morning's rollout of Ariane 5 from its Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone. The vehicle is installed on one of two mobile launch tables available for Ariane 5, providing flexibility and reactivity for mission planning and operations

The upcoming mission is Arianespace's fourth Ariane 5 flight of 2006. Its DIRECTV 9S television broadcast is the largest of the two primary payloads on the launcher, with an estimated mass at liftoff of 5,535 kg. DIRECTV 9S will join the spacecraft fleet of U.S. digital television service provider DIRECTV, which serves more than 15.5 million customers.

Optus D1 will weigh in at 2,299 kg., and is to provide fixed communications and satellite broadcast services over Australia and New Zealand for Australia's Optus.

Also joining the two primary passengers is Japan's LDREX-2 auxiliary payload, which is a sub-scale demonstrator of a lightweight antenna reflector to be used on the Japanese ETS-8 engineering test satellite.

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Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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October 12, 2006

Arianespace rolls out its fourth heavy-lift Ariane 5 mission of 2006

Arianespace's heavy-lift Ariane 5 launcher is now in the launch zone, ready for tomorrow evening's liftoff from the Spaceport in French Guiana with a dual-satellite payload.

Rolling out from Spaceport's Final Assembly Building under mostly sunny French Guiana skies this morning, the Ariane 5 proceeded along a 2.8-km. dual-rail track to the ELA-3 launch zone, where it was positioned over the facility's massive flame ducts.

The Ariane 5 is installed on one of two mobile launch tables built for the workhorse launcher, which enables Arianespace to prepare two missions in parallel - a key element in the company's flexibility and reactivity.

With today's transfer of the Ariane 5, all is set for the final countdown leading to a liftoff tomorrow at the start of a one-hour launch window that opens at 5:56 p.m. (local time in French Guiana).

For Arianespace's fourth Ariane 5 flight of 2006, the mission will carry the DIRECTV 9S television broadcast satellite for U.S. digital television service provider DIRECTV, and the Optus D1 spacecraft for Australia's Optus.

DIRECTV 9S is installed in the upper payload position on Ariane 5, and will be deployed at 27 minutes into the flight. This will be followed by the Optus D1's separation approximately four minutes later.

The DIRECTV spacecraft is the larger of the launcher's two primary payloads, with a liftoff mass of about 5,535 kg. After its launch by Ariane 5, the Space Systems/Loral-built platform will join DIRECTV's satellite constellation that provides digital television service for more than 15.5 million customers.

Optus D1 has a mass at liftoff at 2,299 kg., and is to provide fixed communications and satellite broadcast services over Australia and New Zealand. This payload was built by Orbital Sciences Corporation.

The Ariane 5 also is carrying Japan's LDREX-2 auxiliary payload. This is a sub-scale demonstrator of a lightweight antenna reflector to be used on the Japanese ETS-8 engineering test satellite. Once the DIRECTV 9S and Optus D1 payloads are released, LDREX-2 will unfurl during the Ariane 5 mission in a multi-step process that takes approximately 45 minutes. When its deployment sequence is complete, this auxiliary passenger will be ejected from Ariane 5's upper stage, remaining in orbit for a period of time before the lightweight structure burns up in the atmosphere on reentry.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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October 13, 2006

Final countdown underway for tonight's multi-payload Ariane 5 mission

Arianespace's fourth heavy-lift mission of 2006 is hours away from liftoff as preparations continue on track for its launch with two primary passengers and an auxiliary payload.

user posted image

Drawing shows the Ariane 5's

payload "stack" with DIRECTV

9S and Optus D1.

The final countdown activity today included an electrical system check on the launcher, followed by the fueling of Ariane 5's cryogenic core stage.

Weather at the Spaceport in French Guiana is excellent, with clear and sunny skies.

Liftoff of the Ariane 5 is set at the start of a one-hour launch window, which opens at 5:56 p.m. local time. The launcher is carrying the DIRECTV 9S television broadcast satellite for U.S. digital TV service provider DIRECTV, along with the Optus D1 telecommunications spacecraft for Australia's Optus.

Riding as an auxiliary payload on today's flight is Japan's LDREX-2 auxiliary payload. This is a sub-scale demonstrator of a lightweight antenna reflector for the Japanese ETS-8 engineering test satellite.

user posted image

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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October 13, 2006

Launch day update: Ariane 5 lifts off from Europe's Spaceport

Arianespace's fourth multi-payload of 2006 has lifted off from the Spaceport in French Guiana.

The launcher is carrying the DIRECTV 9S television broadcast satellite for U.S. digital TV service provider DIRECTV, along with the Optus D1 telecommunications spacecraft for Australia's Optus.

DIRECTV 9S is to be deployed at approximately 27 minutes into the mission. This will be followed about three minutes later by the jettisoning of the SYLDA 5 multiple payload dispenser system, exposing Optus D1 for its release from Ariane 5 at 32 minutes after liftoff.

Optus D1 and DIRECTV 9S are accompanied on the Ariane 5 mission by Japan's LDREX-2 auxiliary payload - which will demonstrate the deployment sequence for a large satellite communications antenna. LDREX-2 is positioned at the base of Ariane 5's payload "stack," and its activation will occur after the separation of the two primary satellites.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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October 13, 2006

Ariane 5 adds to its dual-success track record with another heavy-lift mission success

Arianespace maintained its 2006 mission pace with a successful Ariane 5 flight today that placed two primary satellites into geostationary transfer orbit.

user posted image

The Ariane 5 for today's mission is

seen from the side in this image of

the ELA-3 launch zone at Europe's

Spaceport.

After an on-time liftoff from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana, the Ariane 5 went on to deploy DIRECTV 9S for U.S. digital TV service provider DIRECTV, along with the Optus D1 telecommunications spacecraft for Australia's Optus.

Today's launch occurred at 5:56 p.m. local time, providing a rare daytime view of the Ariane 5's ascent - as most missions occur after sunset. As it climbed into clear skies, the vehicle's trajectory was followed downrange by tracking cameras, providing an excellent view of its progress - including the jettison of its solid propellant boosters.

It was Arianespace's fourth dual-satellite Ariane 5 mission of 2006, bringing the total payload mass delivered by the workhorse launcher so far during this year to more than 31,670 kg. Since its introduction, Ariane 5 vehicles have orbited a combined total payload mass of over 600 metric tons.

DIRECTV 9S weighed in at approximately 5,535 kg., for today's mission. It was the sixth satellite to be launched by Arianespace for DIRECTV, Inc., the leading provider of digital multi-channel television service in the United States. The broadcast platform was built by U.S. satellite manufacturer Space Systems/Loral in Palo Alto, California. To date, a total of 32 Space Systems/Loral satellites have been booked with Arianespace, of which 31 have now been launched.

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Optus D1 was released as the second payload in today's Ariane 5 mission sequence. This 2,350 kg. spacecraft is to provide fixed communications and broadcasting satellite services over Australia and New Zealand for Australia's Optus. The satellite was built by Orbital Sciences Corporation in Dulles, Virginia, and is based on the company's successful STAR series of smaller-sized spacecraft.

Riding as a piggyback payload on today's mission was Japan's LDREX-2, which is designed to validate the deployment process for a large, lightweight antenna reflector that will be used on Japan's ETS-8 engineering test satellite. Mounted to the base of Ariane 5's payload "stack," LDREX-2 was to be commanded through its unfurling sequence after the release of DIRECTV 9S and Optus D1.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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Ariane 5 climbs away from the Spaceport's ELA-3 launch zone on its evening flight

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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The Japanese Space Exploration Agency (JAXA) press release is reproduced below:

Launch Result of

Large Deployable Reflector Small-sized Partial Model 2 (LDREX-2)

October 14, 2006 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) would like to announce that we were informed by Arianespace that the Ariane 5 launch vehicle carrying our Large Deployable Reflector Small-sized Partial Model 2 (LDREX-2) for experiments in space was launched at 5:56 a.m. on Oct. 14, 2006 (Japan Standard Time, JST) from French Guiana, South America, and flew normally.

Information on the LDREX-2 deployment experiment will be reported as soon as we receive the test data that is expected to be available no earlier than Oct. 16 (JST.)

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This information is also available on the following website: SOLAR-B/M-V-7 Countdown

Arianespace

Engineering Test Satellite VIII (ETS-VIII)

For inquiries:

JAXA Public Affairs Department

Tel: +81-3-6266-6413 to 6, Fax: +81-3-6266-6910

Public Relations Team at the Uchinoura Space Center, JAXA

Tel: +81-994-31-6978

Source: JAXA press release

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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The Japanese Space Exploration Agency (JAXA) press release is reproduced below:

Deployment Experiment Result of

Large Deployable Reflector Small-sized Partial Model 2 (LDREX-2)

(Quick Report)

October 16, 2006 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Concerning the deployment experiment of the Large Deployable Reflector Small-sized Partial Model 2 (LDREX-2) launched by the Ariane 5 launch vehicle at 5:56 a.m. on Oct. 14, 2006 (Japan Standard Time, JST,) the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) confirmed the antenna deployment by images acquired at the Malindi Station in the Republic of Kenya. The images are attached below.

It is expected to take a week to 10 days to find the final result of the deployment experiment as we have to analyze telemetry data acquired during the experiment. We will release the result as soon as the analysis is completed.

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<Images>

user posted image

<Image taken from the back of the antenna>

user posted image

<Image taken from the side of the antenna>

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Mission website:

Engineering Test Satellite VIII (ETS-VIII)

For inquiries:

JAXA Public Affairs Department

Tel: +81-3-6266-6413 to 6, Fax: +81-3-6266-6910

Public Relations Team at the Uchinoura Space Center, JAXA

Tel: +81-994-31-6978

Source: JAXA press release

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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