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Arianespace Completes The Assembly Of Another Ariane 5

Arianespace plans to launch seven Ariane 5 missions in 2008 - the busiest year of operations since the launcher's 1999 commercial introduction.
by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) May 23, 2008
Arianespace's third Ariane 5 of 2008 is now complete following the integration of its Turksat 3A and Skynet 5C telecommunications satellites at the Spaceport in French Guiana.

This activity took place in the upper level of the Spaceport's Final Assembly Building, where Turksat 3A was installed atop the launcher's core cryogenic stage, followed by the integration of Skynet 5C.

The upcoming flight, scheduled for Friday, May 30, will be another of Ariane 5's trademark missions with a dual satellite payload - a unique feature among today's heavy-lift commercial launch vehicles.

Ariane 5's payload "stack" places Turksat 3A in the lower passenger position, with the satellite being released in the final phase of a multi-step mission trajectory. Riding as the upper passenger is Skynet 5C, which was installed atop the SYLDA 5 dispenser system, and then encapsulated in the Ariane 5 ECA's ogive-shaped payload fairing. This upper element was lowered into position over the Turksat 3A satellite, completing the payload stack.

Turksat 3A was built by Thales Alenia Space, and will be utilized by Ankara-based Turksat for telecommunication services and direct TV broadcasting over Turkey, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. The 3,110 kg. Satellite is based on Thales Alenia Space's Spacebus 4000B2 spacecraft design, and carries 24 Ku-band transponders.

Skynet 5C is a secure military telecommunications satellite that will deliver resilient, survivable and secure communications to military and government users. Built by EADS Astrium, it will be operated by the UK-based operator, Paradigm. The Skynet 5C platform carries hardened Ultra High and Super High Frequency (UHF/SHF) payloads that use multiple, steerable spot beams.

Arianespace plans to launch seven Ariane 5 missions in 2008 - the busiest year of operations since the launcher's 1999 commercial introduction.

Its two flights already performed this year were the historic launch of an Ariane 5 ES version on March 9 with Europe's Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) for the International Space Station; and the April 18 dual-payload Ariane 5 ECA success with Star One C2 and VINASAT-1.

As final preparations are being completed in the Final Assembly Building for Arianespace's May 30 Ariane 5 ECA flight, another heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA is taking shape in the nearby Launcher Integration Building for the year's fourth mission. This vehicle also will carry a dual-satellite payload, enabling Arianespace to respond to the in-orbit delivery timing of its international customer base.

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Arianespace Takes Delivery Of Its Third Ariane 5 In 2008
Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) May 08, 2008
The launch vehicle for Ariane 5's third flight of 2008 is now under Arianespace responsibility after its delivery by prime contractor Astrium at the Spaceport in French Guiana.

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