Paris, France (SPX) Oct 01, 2009
Arianespace is continuing its sustained launch pace - with the next mission ready for an October 1 liftoff, and payloads for the following flight now undergoing final checkout at the Spaceport.
The October 1 liftoff will be Ariane 5's fifth mission of 2009, carrying the civilian Amazonas 2 satellite for Spain's HISPASAT, along with the German COMSATBw-1 military telecommunications platform.
The heavy-lift vehicle was transferred from the Spaceport's Final Assembly Building to the launch pad, where it is scheduled to depart tomorrow at the start of a 1 hr., 11 min. launch window that opens at 6:59 p.m. local time in French Guiana.
Arianespace is keeping up the mission pace, with a total of seven flights planned during 2009 - the busiest year of launch activity for Ariane 5 since its commercial introduction in 1999.
The total lift performance for this upcoming launch is 9,087 kg., which includes 7,905 kg. for the Amazonas 2 and COMSATBw-1 satellites, along with the mass of Ariane 5's SYLDA dual-payload dispenser and the associated integration hardware.
Riding as the upper payload in Ariane 5's payload "stack," Amazonas 2 will be released at 27 minutes into the flight. The satellite weighs approximately 5,500-kg. and will provide a wide range of telecommunications services over its coverage area extending from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego.
COMSATBw-1 has a liftoff mass of about 2,500 kg., and will be deployed from Ariane 5's lower passenger position at just over 33 minutes into the flight. To be operated from an orbital position of 63 deg. East, this satellite will be a key element in the German Bundeswehr's (German Armed Forces) concept for network-centric operations.
Meanwhile, the NSS-12 and THOR 6 payloads for Ariane 5's sixth launch of 2009 arrived at the Spaceport, where they are now undergoing final checks.
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