Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) Apr 07, 2010
Arianespace's upcoming dual payload flight has been rescheduled to the evening of Friday, April 9 following additional checks performed on the launch vehicle at Europe's Spaceport.
The heavy-lift Ariane 5 - together with its ASTRA 3B and COMSATBw-2 passengers - will be transferred Thursday from the Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch complex.
The final countdown will then begin, with liftoff planned on April 9 at the start of a 49-min. launch window that opens at 6:59 p.m. local time in French Guiana.
Arianespace's forthcoming mission will mark the 50th flight of Ariane 5, and the launch vehicle's payload fairing carries a special logo to commemorate this milestone.
ASTRA 3B is installed in the upper passenger position of Ariane 5's dual payload "stack", and will provide direct-to-home broadcast services and two-way broadband relay across Europe and the Middle East. The EADS Astrium-produced spacecraft is to be positioned at SES ASTRA's important 23.5 deg. East orbital position.
Riding as the Ariane 5's lower passenger is COMSATBw-2, which will deliver key services for the German Bundeswehr (German armed forces). It is based on the Spacebus 3000B2 satellite bus, and was designed, integrated and tested by Thales Alenia Space on behalf of EADS Astrium - the program's space segment prime contractor.
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Soyuz Mobile Gantry Takes Shape At Kourou
Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) Apr 05, 2010
The final major infrastructure element for Soyuz' new launch site in French Guiana is taking shape as the large mobile service gantry is assembled for this medium-lift vehicle at the Spaceport. Structural framework for the gantry initially was built up to a height of 27 meters, marking the first assembly phase of this mobile structure, which is now being increased up to 45 meters. Th ... read more
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