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Arianespace Takes Delivery Of Its Third Ariane 5 In 2008

File image of an Ariane 5 core stage being processed for assembly.
by Staff Writers
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.

Handover of the heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA occurred with its transfer yesterday (May 6) from the Launcher Integration Building - where Astrium performed the vehicle's build-up, to the Final Assembly Building - where Arianespace will carry out payload integration and final checkout.

This mission remains on schedule for May 23, with Ariane 5 carrying two passengers: Turksat 3A and Skynet 5C.

The upcoming flight underscores Arianespace's ability to match up diverse satellites for Ariane 5's trademark dual-payload missions: Skynet 5C is to deliver secure military relay links for military and government users, while Turksat 3A will provide telecommunication services and direct TV broadcasting for Turkey, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.

Arianespace is planning the busiest year of Ariane 5 operations since the launcher's commercial introduction in 1999, with a total of seven missions scheduled during 2008.

Two highly accurate flights already have been performed this year: the milestone March 9 flight of an Ariane 5 ES version 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.

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Military And Civilian Telecom Satellites Are Readied For Third Ariane 5 Mission Of 2008
Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) Apr 30, 2008
The two payloads for Ariane 5's third mission of 2008 are undergoing pre-flight checkout at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana as Arianespace maintains the accelerated launch rate for its heavy-lift workhorse vehicle this year. These satellites - Skynet 5C and Turksat 3A - are being readied for liftoff on May 23, which will be five weeks to the day after Arianespace's most recent on-target Ariane 5 launch with the VINASAT-1 and Star One C2 spacecraft.

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