The active mission pace for Arianespace’s workhorse Ariane 5 is being sustained as a new launcher is welcomed to the Spaceport.
This latest heavy-lift vehicle was delivered to French Guiana yesterday aboard the MN Colibri, which is one of two roll-on/roll-off ships that transport components from Europe to the launch site in South America. Today, the launcher hardware was transferred by road from the port of Pariacabo to the Spaceport.
Arianespace is planning a total of six Ariane 5 flights during 2010, with three of these already performed and a fourth mission in advanced preparation for liftoff in September.
The three launches conducted so far this year have orbited six satellites, delivering a combined payload lift performance of nearly 24,600 kg.
This activity began with Arianespace’s May 21 launch of the ASTRA 3B commercial telecommunications satellite for Luxembourg-based SES ASTRA, along with the COMSAT Bw-2 secure military relay spacecraft for Astrium GmbH on behalf of the German Bundeswehr.
It was followed by a June 26 flight that lofted Arabsat’s Arabsat-5A telecommunications and TV broadcasting satellite, with the multi-purpose COMS spacecraft for South Korea’s KARI (Korea Aerospace Research Institute).
Arianespace’s latest mission success occurred August 4, orbiting two satellites that will provide telecommunications services to Africa, the Middle East and Persian Gulf states: NILESAT 201 for Egyptian-based Nilesat, and RASCOM-QAF1R for the Pan-African satellite operator, RascomStar-QAF.
Preparations are well advanced for the fourth Ariane 5 flight of 2010, with its launcher having completed the initial build-up at the Spaceport. This vehicle will carry Eutelsat’s W3B telecommunications satellite and the BSAT-3b relay platform for B-SAT Corporation, and is scheduled for launch on September 15.