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Alphasat stacks up
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Jul 16, 2013

Alphasat lifted onto launch adaptor.

On Wednesday, Alphasat was mated with its launcher adaptor in preparation for installation on the Ariane 5 rocket.

Several weeks ago, Ariane was checked for compatibility with an Arianespace adaptor in a dry run for this week's mating. The adaptor was developed by RUAG Aerospace Sweden with a mixed carbon fibre and aluminium structure and equipped with a low-shock clampband separation system.

Adaptors securely attach a satellite to its launcher, and this one was especially designed and qualified for Alphabus, the high-power platform developed by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space.

The clampband is a ring on top that keeps the satellite in place until the separation system releases the band and frees its payload.

Alphasat was lifted onto the adaptor and the clampband tension adjusted. The adaptors' umbilical lines were then connected to the satellite, completing the procedure.

After mating, the stack was bolted to a platform on air bearings and inserted into the large air-conditioned container that will be used to reach the Batiment d'assemblage final. There, it will be placed on top of Ariane's Sylda dual launch pod, which is housing India's Insat-3D co-passenger.

Following addition of the fairing, the entire 'upper composite' will be installed on top of the waiting Ariane 5.


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ESA Signs Off On Baseline Configuration Of Ariane 6
Paris (ESA) Jul 16, 2013
In November 2012, European Ministers responsible for space, meeting in Naples, Italy, approved the start of preparatory activities for Europe's next-generation Ariane 6 launch vehicle. The objective of Ariane 6 is to maintain guaranteed autonomous access to space for Europe, while minimising exploitation costs and suppressing any support to exploitation. The performance requested for the n ... read more

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