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Ariane 5 Set To Launch Africasat-1a
by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Feb 08, 2013

Mission update: Automated Transfer Vehicle 4 Launch Campaign
The launcher for Arianespace's fourth flight with an Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) is rapidly taking shape at the Spaceport, preparing it for liftoff in the spring from French Guiana with the International Space Station's latest resupply spacecraft. During activity this month in the Spaceport's Launcher Integration Building, the heavy-lift vehicle's core cryogenic stage was suspended over the mobile launch table, followed by positioning of its two solid propellant boosters.

The launcher's EPS storable propellant upper stage will then be installed, readying the Ariane 5 for transfer to the Final Assembly Building, where the latest ATV - named after Albert Einstein - is to be mated.

The Ariane 5 for Arianespace's initial heavy-lift mission of 2013 is ready for liftoff tomorrow evening from French Guiana with a dual-passenger payload of the Amazonas 3 and Azerspace/Africasat-1a telecommunications satellites.

This vehicle was transferred from the Spaceport's Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone earlier today, riding atop one of two operational mobile launch tables for Ariane 5.

Amazonas 3 is installed in the upper position of Ariane 5's payload "stack" and will be deployed first during the 36-minute mission. Produced by Space Systems/Loral in Palo Alto, California for the HISPASAT Group, the spacecraft is to operate from a 61 deg. West longitude orbital slot.

The 6,265-kg.-class relay platform is equipped with 33 Ku-band and 19 C-band transponders, along with nine Ka-band spot beams, and has been designed to provide telecommunications relay services that include direct-to-home television (DTH), corporate fixed and mobile telephone networks, and broadband capacity with coverage across the Americas, Europe, and North Africa.

Positioned below Amazonas 3 in Ariane 5's payload stack is the Azerspace/Africasat-1a satellite, which weighs approximately 3,275 kg. at liftoff. It was built by Orbital Sciences Corporation in Dulles, Virginia, under contract to the Republic of Azerbaijan's Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies for the country's national satellite operator, Azercosmos.

Azerspace/Africasat-1a carries 24 C-band transponders and 12 Ku-band transponders to deliver communications coverage for Azerbaijan, Central Asia, Europe and Africa from an orbital location of 46 deg. East longitude.


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Arianespace Launches Six Globalstar Birds Using Starsem Soyuz
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