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Arabsat-5C is welcomed in French Guiana for Arianespace's next Ariane 5 launch
by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) Aug 10, 2011

illustration only

The second of two passengers for Arianespace's upcoming Ariane 5 mission arrived in French Guiana this week, with the Arabsat-5C satellite now joining SES-2 - which was delivered to the Spaceport earlier in the month.

Arabsat-5C landed at Cayenne's Rochambeau International Airport aboard a chartered An-124 cargo jetliner, where the spacecraft was unloaded and readied for its transfer by road to the Spaceport near the city of Kourou.

This fifth-generation satellite for the Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Arabsat) was built in a joint effort of EADS Astrium and Thales Alenia Space.

As the lead partner, Astrium supplied the Eurostar E3000 platform and integrated the satellite, while Thales Alenia Space designed and built the communications payload.

This team also is upgrading the ground control segment for the extended Arabsat satellite fleet with the series of fifth-generation spacecraft.

Arabsat-5C is a multi-mission platform designed to provide capacity in both the C- and Ka-bands for a range of communications services from Arabsat's 20E orbital position.

With its payload of 26 active transponders in C-band and 12 in Ka-band, Arabsat-5C will have a spacecraft power of 10kW at the end of its 15-year design lifetime.

Ariane 5's upcoming launch with Arabsat-5C and SES-2 is targeted for September 9, and will continue Arianespace's supply of commercial launch services for two long-time customers.

Arianespace has a relationship that spans more than 25 years with the Saudi Arabia-based Arabsat telecommunications operator, dating back to the launch of its first satellite - Arabsat 1A - in 1985 on an Ariane 3 vehicle.

A total of seven Arabsat spacecraft have been lofted to date by Arianespace, including Arabsat-5A, which was orbited by an Ariane 5 in June 2010.

To date, the SES group has entrusted a total of 34 satellites to Arianespace for launch, of which its ASTRA 1N relay platform was orbited on the most recent Ariane 5 mission, performed last week.

For the upcoming Arianespace flight in September, the SES-2 spacecraft is based on Orbital's Enhanced STAR 2.4 bus and carries a hybrid C- and Ku-band payload that will serve North America, along with the CHIRP (Commercially Hosted InfraRed Payload) for the U.S. Air Force.

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Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) Aug 09, 2011
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