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Waspie_Dwarf

Second Ariane Mission of 2007

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Second Ariane Mission of 2007


See also:

First Ariane 5 Mission of 2007

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In the large photo above, the MN Colibri approaches Pariacabo port's jetty, where it will unload the next Ariane 5 for integration and launch from Europe's Spaceport. The photo at right shows a segment of the Ariane 5's payload fairing as it leaves the ship's cargo bay.

March 7, 2007

Another Ariane 5 arrives at Europe's Spaceport


Arianespace is keeping up its mission pace for 2007 with the delivery of another heavy-lift Ariane 5, which arrived in French Guiana yesterday aboard the MN Colibri transport ship.

MN Colibri is one of two roll-on/roll-off vessels operated by Arianespace, and it docked at the Pariacabo port near Kourou after completing a trans-Atlantic voyage from Europe.

The ship carried launch vehicle elements for Arianespace's next dual-payload flight, which will follow this Saturday's Ariane 5 heavy-lift launch with the INSAT 4B and Skynet 5A satellites.

Arianespace offers a high degree of mission reactivity for its customers, which comes from Ariane 5's unique dual-satellite capability and the flexibility of Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana - where two Ariane 5 missions can be prepared in parallel.

The company's targeted launch rate of six missions in 2007 will be boosted to a stabilized capability of eight heavy-lift flights annually from 2009, which is to provide approximately 16 payload slots per year for Arianespace customers.


Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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March 14, 2007

A new Ariane 5 takes shape at the Spaceport for Arianespace's next launch

The Ariane 5 for Arianespace's upcoming dual-payload mission has completed its initial build-up as preparations continue for an early May launch with the Astra 1L and Galaxy 17 satellites.

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Ariane 5's main cryogenic core stage is straddled by the two

solid rocket boosters as preparation work continues inside

the Launcher Integration Building. Mobile work stands

provide access to the lower and upper sections of the

vehicle.

The two large solid rocket boosters have been mated to Ariane 5's main core cryogenic stage, creating the propulsion system that will power the vehicle through its initial phases of flight.

This activity is taking place inside the Launcher Integration Building at Europe's Spaceport, where the Ariane 5 also will receive its ESC-A cryogenic upper stage and vehicle equipment bay.

Build-up of the launcher is being performed under the responsibility of Ariane 5 industrial prime contractor Astrium Space Transportation. Astrium will then transfer it to the Spaceport's Final Assembly Building, where Arianespace takes over for the payload integration, final checkout and launch.

Ariane 5's launch in early May will serve two long-time Arianespace customers: Intelsat (the operator of Galaxy 17) and SES (which will add Astra 1L to the satellite fleet of SES Astra).

This will be Arianespace's second flight of 2007, following the success of last Sunday's Ariane 5 mission that orbited the United Kingdom's Skynet 5A military communications satellite and India's INSAT 4B television/telecommunications relay spacecraft.

Arianespace is targeting six Ariane 5 flights in 2007 by Arianespace, and the company is building up to a stabilized rate of eight Ariane 5 missions annually by 2009.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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Posted (edited)

March 16, 2007

Ariane 5 receives its upper stage propulsion system and the equipment bay

Initial buildup of the Ariane 5 for Arianespace's upcoming dual-satellite mission has been completed in the Launcher Integration Building at Europe's Spaceport.

The heavy-lift Ariane 5 was fitted this week with its ESC-A upper stage, which was installed atop the launcher's 30-meter-tall main cryogenic stage. The ESC-A is a cryogenic propulsion system as well, carrying 14.7 metric tons of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellant.

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Power for the ESC-A is provided by an HM-7B engine, which previously was used on the Ariane 4's third stage - and proven during many years of reliable service. The HM-7B delivers 6.5 metric tons of thrust in vacuum for a burn time of approximately 940 seconds, and its nozzle swivels in two axes for attitude control during flight.

Completing the Ariane 5's basic build-up was installation of its vehicle equipment bay, which carries flight control and electrical systems, including two onboard computers, two inertial guidance units, sequencing electronics, power supplies and telemetry equipment.

In the photo at right, a launch team member controls an overhead crane that is bringing the vehicle equipment bay into position for placement on the ESC-A third stage. This picture, taken in the upper level of the Launcher Integration Building, also shows the ESC-A stage (in the foreground), which already is in place atop the Ariane 5.

The current integration activity is being performed by EADS Astrium, which is the Ariane 5's industrial prime contractor. Once the basic Ariane 5's checkout is completed, the launcher will be transferred to the Spaceport's Final Assembly Building, where Arianespace takes delivery of the vehicle.

Arianespace is responsible for integration of the mission's satellite passengers, the final vehicle verification, and its launch.

The upcoming heavy-lift Ariane 5 mission is targeted for early May, carrying the Galaxy 17 satellite for Intelsat and Astra 1L for SES Astra. This will be the second Ariane 5 flight for Arianespace in 2007, and follows the successful March 11 mission that orbited the U.K.'s Skynet 5A military communications satellite and India's INSAT 4B television/telecommunications relay spacecraft.

Arianespace is planning a total of six Ariane 5 flights in 2007 as its launch pace accelerates to a stabilized rate of eight Ariane 5 missions annually by 2009.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted (edited)

March 29, 2007

The Spaceport welcomes ASTRA 1L for Ariane 5's upcoming launch

The first of two satellite payloads for Arianespace's next Ariane 5 mission is undergoing pre-launch preparations after arriving at the Spaceport in French Guiana late last week.

SES ASTRA's ASTRA 1L spacecraft was flown into Cayenne's Rochambeau International Airport aboard an Antonov An-124 heavy-lift airliner, and was transferred to the Spaceport's S5 satellite preparation facility. Our photo report provides the first look at ASTRA 1L as it enters it is readied for the early May dual-payload Ariane 5 flight with Intelsat's Galaxy 17 (click on the images for a larger version):

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ASTRA 1L is surrounded by its support equipment in the S5C high bay area of the S5 satellite preparation facility. The S5C facility has a surface 679 sq. meters, and is linked to a 322-sq.-meter airlock, which is partly visible at the right.

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ASTRA 1L is an A2100 AXS relay platform built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems. After its launch by Ariane 5, the spacecraft will join ASTRA satellites currently co-positioned at 19.2° East to operate as a replacement satellite for existing capacity and to strengthen ASTRA's unique redundancy and customer security scheme.

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The ASTRA 1L is lowered onto its cone-shaped payload adapter for a standard fit-check. This adapter serves as the interface with the Ariane 5 launcher. ASTRA 1L will be the ninth ASTRA satellite launched by Arianespace and the third to be orbited aboard an Ariane 5.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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April 3, 2007

Intelsat's Galaxy 17 starts its pre-launch preparations at the Spaceport

The second passenger for Arianespace's next heavy-lift mission is now undergoing its checkout at the Spaceport as activity continues on schedule for the early May launch of Ariane 5.

Intelsat's Galaxy 17 was delivered to French Guiana on a chartered cargo flight, and currently is in the Spaceport's S5 satellite preparation building. Our photos detail the initial verifications of Galaxy 17, which were carried out by technicians from Alcatel Alenia Space, which produced the satellite (click on the images for a larger version):

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Galaxy 17 is removed from its climate-controlled shipping container inside the S5C preparation high-bay (which is one of three main halls that comprise the state-of-the-art S5 facility). This is the 50th in the series of geostationary communications satellites based on the Alcatel Alenia Space Spacebus platform.

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Supported by an overhead crane, Galaxy 17 is moved toward a fixture (visible in the foreground) that will hold the satellite during its checkout in the S5C high-bay. Galaxy 17 will weigh approximately 4 metric tons at launch and is designed for a 15-year operational life, providing television and telecommunications services for Intelsat customers.

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Alcatel Alenia Space is responsible for Galaxy 17's construction, pre-launch preparations, satellite positioning and in-orbit testing. The spacecraft will be orbited on the upcoming Ariane 5 mission along with ASTRA 1L - an A2100 AXS television relay platform built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Satellite Systems for SES ASTRA.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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Posted (edited)

April 9, 2007

SES ASTRA's ASTRA 1L satellite is fueled for Arianespace's upcoming Ariane 5 mission

ASTRA 1L has been fueled at the Spaceport in French Guiana, marking another milestone in its pre-launch preparations for Arianespace's upcoming Ariane 5 mission.

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Fueling of ASTRA 1L occurred in the S5A hall of the Spaceport's S5 satellite preparation facility. The state-of-the-art S5 complex allows multiple payloads to be handled simultaneously, and it currently is the processing site for both ASTRA 1L and its co-passenger for the next Ariane 5 mission - Inmarsat's Galaxy 17.

ASTRA 1L was built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, and will be the ninth SES ASTRA satellite to be launched by Arianespace. It is to join ASTRA satellites currently co-positioned at 19.2° East as a replacement satellite for existing capacity and to strengthen ASTRA's unique customer service, security and redundancy scheme.

Fitted with 32 Ku band transponders, the ASTRA 1L spacecraft will provide TV relay services for SES ASTRA - the leading direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast system in Europe that serves more than 109 million households.

Arianespace's upcoming Ariane 5 flight is its second dual-satellite mission of 2007, and is scheduled for an evening liftoff on May 3 from the Spaceport's ELA-3 launch complex.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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April 10, 2007

Ariane 5 is transferred to the Final Assembly Building

The Ariane 5 for Arianespace's second heavy-lift flight of 2007 has moved to the Final Assembly Building at Europe's Spaceport, where it is ready to be fitted with the mission's dual-satellite payload.

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The Ariane 5 for Arianespace's upcoming mission is visible

in the background as it transfers to the Final Assembly

Building. In the foreground is the second Ariane 5

launch table.

Rolling out today under cloudy French Guiana skies, the Ariane 5 departed the Spaceport's Launcher Integration Building, where the vehicle's initial build-up was performed. It moved out on a massive launch table – one of two available for Ariane 5 missions, and followed a 2.5-km. semi-circular rail line to the Final Assembly Building.

All is ready for integration of the Ariane 5's two satellite passengers: ASTRA 1L for SES ASTRA and Galaxy 17 for Intelsat.

Galaxy 17 is an Alcatel Alenia Space-built Spacebus platform, and will provide direct-to-home broadcast and data networking solutions for Intelsat to Latin America. ASTRA 1L was produced by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, and is based on the A2100 AXS relay platform. After its launch by Ariane 5, this spacecraft will join ASTRA satellites currently co-positioned at 19.2° East – operating as a replacement for existing capacity and strengthening SES ASTRA's redundancy and customer security scheme.

Liftoff of the Ariane 5 with Galaxy 17 and ASTRA 1L remains on schedule for early May, keeping up the sustained Arianespace mission pace in 2007.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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April 17, 2007

Galaxy 17 is "topped off" in the Spaceport's S5 payload preparation building

Initial processing of the dual-satellite payload for Arianespace's next Ariane 5 mission has been completed with the fueling of Galaxy 17 at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.

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Galaxy 17 was "topped off" in the S5B integration/fueling high-bay, which is one of three main halls that comprise the Spaceport's state-of-the-art S5 payload preparation facility.

The Galaxy 17 satellite is equipped with 24 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders, and will provide telecommunications and television coverage over North America for Intelsat - the largest provider of fixed satellite services worldwide. It is the 50th geostationary communications satellite based on Alcatel Alenia Space's Spacebus platform, and will weigh approximately 4 metric tons at launch.

For the upcoming Arianespace launch - scheduled in the evening hours of May 3 - Galaxy 17 will be riding in the lower passenger position on Ariane 5, with the ASTRA 1L satellite as the upper payload. ASTRA 1L was fueled earlier this month in the S5 facility, and is ready for the start of its integration with Ariane 5 launcher hardware.

Arianespace is targeting six Ariane 5 flights in 2007 as the company builds up to a stabilized rate of eight Ariane 5 missions annually by 2009. The May 3 mission will be its second of this year, following the successful March 11 launch that orbited the Skynet 5A and INSAT 4B satellites.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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April 20, 2007

ASTRA 1L is integrated on Ariane 5's dual-payload dispenser system

Final payload integration for Arianespace's next Ariane 5 mission has begun at the Spaceport in French Guiana, where SES ASTRA's ASTRA 1L satellite has been placed atop the launch vehicle's SYLDA satellite deployment system.

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ASTRA 1L is one of two payloads to be orbited by the May 3 flight, and it was installed on the SYLDA dispenser during activity inside the integration hall of Ariane 5's Final Assembly Building (photo at right).

With this step now completed, the ASTRA 1L/SYLDA combination ready to be encapsulated in the Ariane 5's large payload fairing, completing the upper element of this launch vehicle's dual payload "stack."

The integrated payload component will then be hoisted to the upper levels of the Final Assembly Building for positioning over the mission's other payload - Intelsat's Galaxy 17 satellite, which is to be mated to the top of Ariane 5's central core stage

ASTRA 1L's 29 Ku-band and 2 Ka-band transponders will provide TV relay services for SES ASTRA, the leading direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast system in Europe. The satellite was manufactured in the U.S. by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, and will be the ninth SES ASTRA satellite launched by Arianespace. It is to be positioned at 19.2° East as a replacement satellite for ASTRA's existing capacity at this orbital slot, strengthening the company's unique customer service, security and redundancy scheme.

The upcoming Ariane 5 flight is Arianespace's second dual-payload mission of 2007, and is scheduled for an evening liftoff from the Spaceport's ELA-3 launch complex.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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April 24, 2007

The Galaxy 17 and ASTRA 1L payloads are installed on Ariane 5

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Arianespace's second heavy-lift Ariane 5 of 2007 is now complete at Europe's Spaceport following the integration of its dual-satellite payload for the upcoming May 3 launch.

ASTRA 1L was installed atop the Ariane 5 yesterday, clearing the way for today's placement of the upper payload "composite" - which consists of ASTRA 1L, the SYLDA dual-payload dispenser system, and the launch vehicle's payload fairing.

The photo at left details the final integration activity, which took place in the upper levels of Ariane 5's Final Assembly Building at the Spaceport. Galaxy 17 is clearly visible in position on the Ariane 5's core stage - which is surrounded by work scaffolding that provides assess to the launcher and its payloads. In the background, the payload fairing containing ASTRA 1L and the SYLDA dispenser is ready to be lowered over Galaxy 17.

Ariane 5's dual-passenger capability is one of the keys to Arianespace's Service & Solutions launch offer, allowing satellites to be paired up for highly efficient and reactive missions. For 2007, Arianespace is targeting a total of six Ariane 5 flights as its launch pace accelerates to a stabilized rate of eight Ariane 5 missions annually by 2009.

The May 3 mission is scheduled for an evening liftoff from Europe's Spaceport at the start of a 44-minute launch window which opens at 7:29 p.m. Kourou time (22h29 GMT and 00:29 a.m. in Paris).

Intelsat's Galaxy 17 is equipped with 24 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders, and is designed to provide telecommunications and television coverage over North America. With a liftoff mass of approximately 4 metric tons, it is the 50th geostationary communications satellite based on the Spacebus platform of Europe's Thales Alénia Space.

ASTRA 1L is the larger of the two payloads for Ariane 5's upcoming mission, and is configured with 29 Ku-band and 2 Ka-band transponders to provide TV relay services for SES ASTRA. The spacecraft was manufactured in the U.S. by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, and will be the ninth SES ASTRA satellite launched by Arianespace. It is to be positioned at 19.2° East as a replacement satellite for ASTRA's existing capacity at this orbital slot, strengthening the company's unique customer service, security and redundancy scheme.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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May 1, 2007

The go-ahead is given for Arianespace's second Ariane 5 flight of 2007

Arianespace's second heavy-lift mission of 2007 has been cleared for its May 3 liftoff following the launch readiness review performed at the Spaceport in French Guiana.

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This review, which is conducted before every Arianespace flight, verified the readiness of Ariane 5 launch vehicle, its dual-passenger payload of the ASTRA 1L and Galaxy 17 satellites, the launch infrastructure at the Spaceport, and the network of downrange tracking stations.

With the completion of this launch campaign milestone, all is ready for tomorrow's rollout of the completed Ariane 5 from its Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone.

The upcoming mission will be the 32nd launch of an Ariane 5, and the heavy-lift vehicle will be orbiting a total mass of 9,402 kg. - which includes the two payloads, their interface hardware for installation on the launcher, as well as Ariane 5's multiple deployment system that enables the launcher to perform its efficient dual-spacecraft launches. As a result, the May 3 flight will mark a record performance for a mission to standard geostationary transfer orbit.

SES Astra's ASTRA 1L satellite is riding in the upper passenger position on Ariane 5, and will be deployed first during the mission. This A2100 AX spacecraft was built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, and has a liftoff mass of 4,505 kg. After its Ariane 5deployment, ASTRA 1L will be located at 19.2° East - ASTRA's prime orbital position for delivering broadcast services to continental Europe, where it will transmit high-definition television programming.

Galaxy 17 will weigh an estimated 4,107 kg. at launch and is designed for a 15-year operational life, providing television and telecommunications services for customers of the Intelsat organization. This spacecraft is the 50th geostationary communications satellite based on the Thales Alenia Space Spacebus platform.

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Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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Lockheed Martin press release is reproduced below:

LOCKHEED MARTIN-BUILT ASTRA 1L SATELLITE READY FOR LAUNCH

NEWTOWN, Pa., May 1, 2007 -- The ASTRA 1L broadcasting satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] for SES ASTRA, an SES company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), is ready for launch Thursday aboard an Ariane 5-ECA launch vehicle provided by Arianespace. ASTRA 1L, which is scheduled to launch at 6:29 p.m. EST, will be located at orbital location 19.2 degrees East.

ASTRA-1L will carry 29 active Ku band transponders used to provide distribution of direct-to-home broadcast services across Europe as well as a 2-transponder Ka band payload for interactive applications. ASTRA 1L is expected to provide 15 years of design life and will ensure further fleet optimization by allowing the release of ASTRA 2C from its current location of 19.2 degrees East. Furthermore, it will reinforce SES ASTRA’s inter satellite back-up concept.

ASTRA 1L is the 15th A2100 series spacecraft designed, built and launched for SES companies by Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin is currently building AMC-14 for SES AMERICOM, which is scheduled to be launched in December 2007. ASTRA 1L also marks the first of five A2100 launches this year.

The Lockheed Martin A2100 geosynchronous spacecraft series is designed to meet a wide variety of telecommunications needs including Ka-band broadband and broadcast services, fixed satellite services in C-band and Ku-band, high-power direct broadcast services using the Ku-band frequency spectrum and mobile satellite services using UHF, L-band, and S-band payloads.

The A2100's modular design features a reduction in parts, simplified construction, increased on-orbit reliability and reduced weight and cost.

The A2100 spacecraft’s design accommodates a large range of communication payloads as demonstrated by the 30 spacecraft successfully flown to date. This design modularity also enables the A2100 spacecraft to be configured for missions other than communication. The A2100 design is currently being adapted for geostationary earth orbit (GEO)-based earth observing missions and is currently the baselined platform for Lockheed Martin’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite Series-R (GOES-R) proposal.

About SES ASTRA

SES ASTRA is the leading Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite system in Europe, delivering services to more than 109 million DTH and cable households. The ASTRA satellite fleet currently comprises 12 satellites, transmitting 1,864 analogue and digital television and radio channels. SES ASTRA also provides satellite-based multimedia, internet and telecommunication services to enterprises, governments and their agencies. With 26 High Definition (HD) channels available via its satellites today, ASTRA is also the most important HDTV broadcasting platform in Europe. ASTRA's prime orbital positions are 19.2° East, 28.2° East, and 23.5° East.

SES ASTRA is an SES company (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG). SES owns three market-leading satellite operators, SES ASTRA in Europe, SES AMERICOM in North America, and SES NEW SKIES, which provide global coverage and connectivity. The Company also holds strategic participations in SES Sirius in Europe, Ciel in Canada and Quetzsat in Mexico. SES provides outstanding satellite communications solutions via a fleet of 36 satellites in 25 orbital positions around the globe. Additional information on SES is available at: www.ses.com.

About Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems is a unit of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, a major operating unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation, designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates a full spectrum of advanced-technology systems for national security, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include human space flight systems; a full range of remote sensing, navigation, meteorological and communications satellites and instruments; space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft; laser radar; fleet ballistic missiles; and missile defense systems.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2006 sales of $39.6 billion.

Source: Lockheed Martin Press Release

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Ariane 5 approaches the ELA-3 launch zone during today's roll-out at the Spaceport for its liftoff tomorrow evening

May 2, 2007

Ariane 5 is transferred to the launch zone for its May 3 heavy-lift mission

Arianespace's next Ariane 5 is in the launch zone at Europe's Spaceport, ready for liftoff tomorrow evening with its dual-passenger payload of the ASTRA 1L and Galaxy 17 telecommunications spacecraft.

The Ariane 5 rolled out from its Final Assembly Building this morning, covering the 2.8-km. distance to the ELA-3 launch zone in one hour. Ariane 5's massive mobile launch table was then locked in place, clearing the way for a final countdown leading to the May 3 liftoff during a 44-minute launch window that opens at 7:29 p.m. Kourou time (22h29 GMT, 00:29 a.m. in Paris and 6:29 p.m. in Washington, D.C.).

This Ariane 5 will weigh approximately 774.3 metric tons when fueled, and its total payload lift performance is to set a new record for commercial missions to a standard geostationary transfer orbit.

The 4.505-kg. ASTRA 1L satellite is riding in the Ariane 5's upper passenger position, and will be deployed 27 minutes into the flight. The 4,100-kg. Galaxy 17 spacecraft is to be released from the launch vehicle approximately six minutes later.

Once in orbit, ASTRA 1L will operate at 19.2° East - ASTRA's prime position for delivering broadcast services to continental Europe, where it also will transmit the company's increasing number of high-definition TV channels. Another role of the spacecraft is to extend ASTRA's coverage from the Canary Islands in the West to the Russian border in the East, and it will further strengthen SES ASTRA`s unique in-orbit back-up scheme. ASTRA 1L carries 29 Ku-band and 2 Ka-band transponders, and was built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems.

The Galaxy 17 spacecraft is designed for a 15-year operational life, providing television and telecommunications services for customers of the Intelsat organization. Manufactured by Thales Alenia Space, it is equipped with 24 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders.

Tomorrow's mission is Arianespace's second heavy-lift flight of 2007, and it sustains the pace that targets a total of six Ariane 5s to be launched during the year.

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Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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Posted (edited)

May 3, 2007

Ariane 5 mission with ASTRA 1L and Galaxy 17: The final countdown has begun

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The final countdown is underway for Arianespace's second Ariane 5 flight of 2007, with the dual-payload mission's liftoff scheduled at the start of a 44-minute launch window that opens today at 7:29 p.m. in French Guiana (22h29 GMT, 00:29 a.m. in Paris and 6:29 p.m. in Washington, D.C.).

Today's flight will orbit a total mass of 9,402 kg. – a record performance for a mission to standard geostationary transfer orbit. This includes the weight of the two satellite payloads, their installation hardware, as well as Ariane 5's multiple deployment system that enables the launcher to perform its efficient dual-spacecraft launches.

The mission's upper payload, ASTRA 1L for SES ASTRA, will be deployed first in the flight sequence, separating from Ariane 5 approximately 27 minutes after liftoff. It will be followed by the Intelsat Galaxy 17 spacecraft, which is to be released about three minutes later.

ASTRA 1L weighs 4,505 kg. at launch, and will be located at 19.2° East – ASTRA's prime position for delivering broadcast services to continental Europe. The spacecraft also is to extend ASTRA's coverage from the Canary Islands in the West to the Russian border in the East, and it will further strengthen SES ASTRA's unique in-orbit back-up scheme.

Galaxy 17 is designed for a 15-year operational life, providing television and telecommunications services for customers of the international Intelsat organization. This satellite weighs in at 4,100 kg. for today's liftoff.

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Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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May 3, 2007

Ariane 5 launch: Weather hold

Tonight's liftoff of Arianespace's second dual-payload flight of 2007 is on hold due to weather conditions at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.

Arianespace Chairman & CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall said a decision on whether the mission will occur tonight is to be announced at 8:05 p.m., local time in French Guiana.

SES ASTRA's ASTRA 1L satellite is the upper payload on Ariane 5. Intelsat's Galaxy 17 spacecraft is positioned as the lower passenger on the launch vehicle.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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Posted (edited)

May 3, 2007

Weather conditions delay the Ariane 5's launch for 24 hours

Arianespace's second dual-payload flight of 2007 was postponed today due to weather conditions at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana. The mission has been rescheduled for the same 44-minute launch window tomorrow

Today's weather "red" was due to high-altitude winds over French Guiana, which exceeded the established safety margins. Although it was raining during this evening's launch attempt, these wet conditions did not influence the postponement – as Ariane 5 is able to launch in the rain.

Both the Ariane 5 and its two satellite passengers – SES ASTRA's ASTRA 1L and Intelsat's Galaxy 17 – have been placed in a safe standby mode, ready for a resumption of the launch countdown tomorrow.

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Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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May 4, 2007

Final countdown resumes for Arianespace's dual-payload mission

The final countdown has resumed for Arianespace's heavy-lift mission with SES ASTRA's ASTRA 1L and Intelsat's Galaxy 17 satellites, which is set for a 44-minute launch window this evening that opens at 7:29 p.m. in French Guiana (22h29 GMT, 00:29 a.m. in Paris and 6:29 p.m. in Washington, D.C.).

Yesterday's countdown was stopped before liftoff because of high-altitude winds over French Guiana, which exceeded the established safety margins. The Ariane 5 remained in the ELA-3 launch zone overnight, allowing the mission to be rescheduled for today.

This flight will be Arianespace's second dual-payload mission of 2007, and is to loft a total mass of 9,402 kg. – a record performance for a mission to standard geostationary transfer orbit. The combined weight includes the two satellite payloads, their installation hardware, as well as Ariane 5's multiple deployment system that enables the launcher to perform its efficient dual-spacecraft launches.

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Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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May 4, 2007

Liftoff of Ariane 5 with the ASTRA 1L and Galaxy 17 satellites

The Ariane 5 for Arianespace's second dual-payload flight of 2007 has lifted off from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana, carrying a record payload for deployment into geostationary transfer orbit.

The upper passenger for today's mission, ASTRA 1L for SES ASTRA, will be deployed first in the flight sequence, separating from Ariane 5 approximately 27 minutes after liftoff. It will be followed by the Intelsat Galaxy 17 spacecraft, which is to be released about three minutes later.

ASTRA 1L weighs 4,505 kg. at launch, and will be located at 19.2° East – ASTRA's prime position for delivering broadcast services to continental Europe. The spacecraft also is to extend ASTRA's coverage from the Canary Islands in the West to the Russian border in the East, and it will further strengthen SES ASTRA's unique in-orbit back-up scheme.

Galaxy 17 is designed for a 15-year operational life, providing television and telecommunications services for customers of the international Intelsat organization. This satellite weighed in at 4,100 kg. for today's liftoff.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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Posted (edited)

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The Ariane 5 is shown in the Spaceport's ELA-3 launch zone, ready for liftoff on the second of six missions planned for 2007.

May 4, 2007

Another Ariane 5 success, with a new record performance to geostationary transfer orbit

Ariane 5 delivered a record performance during Arianespace's second heavy-lift flight of 2007, deploying two large telecommunications satellites into geostationary transfer orbit today.

Launched from the ELA-3 complex at Europe's Spaceport, the Ariane 5 orbited ASTRA 1L for SES ASTRA and Galaxy 17 for Intelsat – marking the 18th consecutive success for Arianespace's workhorse launch vehicle.

"This comes less than two months after our previous success, which demonstrates our consistent launch tempo," said Arianespace Chairman & CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall. "We have launched six Ariane 5s and two Soyuz in less than twelve months, establishing Arianespace as the world reference for the launch services industry."

The customers for today's mission are key international satellite communications companies, and both are long-time users of Arianespace launch services.

"Astra 1L is the ninth satellite we have launched for SES Astra and the 26th for the SES family," Le Gall added in post-launch comments from the Spaceport's Jupiter mission center. "Just last December, we orbited AMC-18, and now - five months later - it was Astra 1L's turn. In addition, we will launch AMC-21 next year."

The ASTRA 1L platform is equipped with 29 Ku-band and 2 Ka-band transponders, and will deliver broadcast services to continental Europe from an orbital slot of 19.2° East. This 4,505-kg. communications platform also is to extend ASTRA's coverage from the Canary Islands in the West to the Russian border in the East, and it will further strengthen SES ASTRA's unique in-orbit back-up scheme.

Intelsat is a loyal Arianespace customer as well, and the 4,100-kg. Galaxy 17 spacecraft orbited today become the organization's 38th satellite to use an Ariane launcher. Fitted with 24- Ku-band and 24 C-band transponders, Galaxy 17 is designed to provide television and telephony services for North America.

"More than 60 percent of Intelsat satellites have been launched by Arianespace, and this fall, we will launch two more satellites for Intelsat," Le Gall added. "I want to thank Intelsat for the confidence it has had in our company from the very beginning."

Today's flight lofted a total mass estimated at just over 9,400 kg. – a record performance for a mission to standard geostationary transfer orbit. This included the weight of the two satellite payloads, their integration hardware, as well as Ariane 5's multiple deployment system that enables the launcher to perform its efficient dual-spacecraft launches.

The mission originally had been scheduled for May 3, but was delayed 24 hours by high-altitude winds over French Guiana, which exceeded the established safety margins. The weather cooperated for tonight's launch – even providing a break in the rainy conditions that allowed the launcher's initial ascent to be viewed, including separation of the Ariane 5's two solid boosters approximately 2 min. 20 sec. into the flight.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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The Ariane 5 is shown in the Spaceport's ELA-3 launch zone, ready for liftoff on the second of six missions planned for 2007.

May 4, 2007

Another Ariane 5 success, with a new record performance to geostationary transfer orbit

Ariane 5 delivered a record performance during Arianespace's second heavy-lift flight of 2007, deploying two large telecommunications satellites into geostationary transfer orbit today.

Launched from the ELA-3 complex at Europe's Spaceport, the Ariane 5 orbited ASTRA 1L for SES ASTRA and Galaxy 17 for Intelsat – marking the 18th consecutive success for Arianespace's workhorse launch vehicle.

"This comes less than two months after our previous success, which demonstrates our consistent launch tempo," said Arianespace Chairman & CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall. "We have launched six Ariane 5s and two Soyuz in less than twelve months, establishing Arianespace as the world reference for the launch services industry."

The customers for today's mission are key international satellite communications companies, and both are long-time users of Arianespace launch services.

linked-image

Ariane 5 begins its ascent for another highly

accurate Arianespace mission.

The 26th SES satellite launched by Ariane, and the 45th for Intelsat

"ASTRA 1L is the ninth satellite we have launched for SES ASTRA and the 26th for the SES family," Le Gall added in post-launch comments from the Spaceport's Jupiter mission center. "Just last December, we orbited AMC-18, and now – five months later – it was ASTRA 1L's turn. In addition, we will launch AMC-21 next year."

The ASTRA 1L platform is equipped with 29 Ku-band and 2 Ka-band transponders, and will deliver broadcast services to continental Europe from an orbital slot of 19.2° East. This 4,500-kg. communications platform also is to extend ASTRA's coverage from the Canary Islands in the West to the Russian border in the East, and it will further strengthen SES ASTRA's unique in-orbit back-up scheme.

Intelsat is a loyal Arianespace customer as well, and the 4,100-kg. Galaxy 17 spacecraft orbited today become the organization's 45th satellite to use an Ariane launcher since 1983. Fitted with 24 Ku-band and 24 C-band transponders, Galaxy 17 is designed to provide television and telephony services for North America.

"About 60 percent of Intelsat satellites have been launched by Arianespace, and this fall, we will launch two more satellites for Intelsat," Le Gall added. "I want to thank Intelsat for the confidence it has had in our company from the very beginning."

Today's flight lofted a total mass estimated at just over 9,400 kg. – a record for a mission to standard geostationary transfer orbit. This included the weight of the two satellite payloads, their integration hardware, as well as Ariane 5's multiple deployment system that enables the launcher to perform its efficient dual-spacecraft launches.

The mission originally had been scheduled for May 3, but was delayed 24 hours by high-altitude winds over French Guiana, which exceeded the established safety margins. The weather cooperated for tonight's launch – even providing a break in the rainy conditions at French Guiana, allowing the launcher's initial ascent to be viewed, including separation of the Ariane 5's two solid boosters approximately 2 min. 20 sec. into the flight.

A symbolic mission for international space cooperation

In his post-launch comments, Le Gall also acknowledged the symbolic importance of today's mission for international space activity – as the European-built Ariane 5 carried both European and American satellite payloads. He said this illustrates the common objectives of Europe and the United States in space, and noted the cooperation will be extended in the future with Ariane 5's launch of the European ATV re-supply spacecraft to the International Space Station.

"I am very pleased and honored to welcome tonight a U.S. delegation led by my personal friend, Mike Griffin, the NASA Administrator," Le Gall said. "This delegation is visiting our facility in preparation for the historic ATV launch."

Le Gall also announced Arianespace's upcoming missions. The first will be in the next few weeks, when Arianespace affiliate Starsem launches a Soyuz vehicle from Baikonur Cosmodrome with the Globalstar 1R payload. This will be followed in August by another heavy-lift Ariane 5 mission from Europe's Spaceport, which is to carry the SPACEWAY 3 and B-SAT 3A satellites.

Source: Arianespace Mission Updates

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Kourou, French Guiana, May 4, 2007

Mission Accomplished for Arianespace

Astra 1L and Galaxy 17 in orbitt

On Friday evening, May 4, Arianespace placed two communications satellites into geostationary transfer orbit: Astra 1L for the European operator SES Astra, and Galaxy 17 for the international operator Intelsat.

32nd Ariane 5 launch, 18th success in a row

The latest successful launch of an Ariane 5, the second in 2007, confirms that Arianespace's launch Services & Solutions continue to set the standard for all major telecom operators worldwide.

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

A launch for two prestigious, loyal customers

Astra 1L is the ninth SES Astra satellite to be launched by Arianespace. SES Astra is the leading direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast system in Europe, serving more than 109 million households via DTH and cable networks. Satellites in the SES Astra fleet transmit 1,864 TV and radio stations.

Galaxy 17 is the 45th Intelsat satellite to use an Ariane launcher since 1983. More than 60% of the Intelsat satellites in service today were orbited by the European launch vehicle. Intelsat is currently the world's largest supplier of fixed satellite services (FSS). Its services are used by an extensive customer base including some of the world's leading media and communications companies, multinational corporations, Internet service providers and government/military organizations.

Record backlog of orders

Arianespace has signed six new launch Service & Solutions contracts since the beginning of the year, bringing its backlog to 39 satellites to be launched after this evening's mission. Four more Ariane 5 launches are scheduled by the end of 2007.

Astra 1L/Galaxy 17 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, May 4, at 7:29 pm local time in Kourou (6:29 pm in Washington, DC, 22:29 UT, and on Saturday May 5 at 12:29 am in Paris).

Provisional parameters at injection of the cryogenic upper stage (ESC-A) were:

Perigee: 248.2 km for a target of 248.2 km (±3)

Apogee: 35,958 km for a target of 35,947 km (±160)

Inclination: 5.9 degrees for a target of 6.0 degrees (±0.06°)

Astra 1L, built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS) using an A2100 AX platform, will weigh about 4,500 kg at launch. Equipped with 29 Ku-band active transponders and 2 Ka-band active transponders, Astra 1L will be positioned at 19.2 degrees East, and provide high-power satellite services across Europe. Its design life is approximately 15 years.

Galaxy 17, built by Thales Alenia Space using a Spacebus 3000 B3 platform, is designed to provide television and telephony services for North America. Weighing about 4,100 kg at launch, it is fitted with 24 Ku-band and 24 C-band transponders. Its design life is about 15 years.

Source: Arianespace Press Release

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Ariane 5 – second launch of six in 2007


5 May 2007

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On 4 May 2007, the second Ariane 5 launch of six in 2007 took place.

Credits: ESA/CNES/Arianespace - Photo Optique Vidéo CSG


On 4 May 2007, 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 V176 took place at 22:29 GMT/UTC (19:29 local time, 00:29 [5 May] CET/Paris). The satellites were accurately injected into the correct transfer orbits about 30 minutes later.

The payload comprised Astra 1L, a Ku- and Ka-band broadcast services satellite intended for direct-to-home transmissions over continental Europe, and Galaxy 17, a C- and Ku-band television and telephony services satellite that will serve North America. The payload mass was 9402 kg; the satellite masses totalled 8605 kg, with payload adapters and dispensers making up the additional 797 kg. This is a new record for Ariane 5 ECA

This second launch of the year keeps Arianespace and Europe’s Spaceport on target to perform six Ariane 5 launches in 2007 as they head towards their target of seven to eight missions per year from 2009.

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 2min:20sec after main engine ignition, and the fairing protecting the payload during the climb through the Earth’s atmosphere was discarded at 3min:11sec. The launcher’s main engine was shut down at 8min:57sec; six seconds later the main cryogenic stage separated from the upper stage and its payload.

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 24min:58sec into the flight, at which point the launch vehicle was travelling at 9878 metres per second (35 560 km/h) at an altitude of 622.6 kilometres and the conditions for geostationary transfer orbit injection had been achieved.

At 27min:15 sec after main engine ignition, Astra 1L separated from the launcher, followed by Galaxy 17 at 32min:54sec.


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

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