by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Jul 22, 2013
The heavy-lift Ariane 5 for Arianespace's July 25 mission from French Guiana is now complete following integration of its full payload "stack," consisting of the Alphasat and INSAT-3D spacecraft.
Encapsulated in its ogive-shaped protective fairing, Alphasat was lowered into place yesterday over INSAT-3D - which was installed atop Ariane 5's cryogenic core stage during activity earlier in the week.
These integration steps were performed inside the Spaceport's Final Assembly Building for Ariane 5, enabling a new series of preparation milestones to begin. They include the launch readiness review on July 23, followed by Ariane 5's rollout to the ELA-3 launch zone the next day, and subsequent countdown to the July 25 liftoff during a 1-hour, 18-minute launch window that opens at 4:53 p.m. local time in French Guiana.
Ariane 5 is to deliver a payload lift performance of more than 9,750 kg. for the upcoming mission, which includes a combined total of some 8,770 kg. for Alphasat and INSAT-3D, plus the launcher's SYLDA dual-passenger dispenser system and satellite integration hardware.
Riding as the upper payload in Ariane 5's stack is Europe's Alphasat telecommunications spacecraft, which will be released at approximately 27 minutes after liftoff. Developed by Astrium, it is the result of a large-scale public-private partnership involving Inmarsat and the European Space Agency (ESA), and represents the first flight model of Europe's new Alphabus high capacity satellite platform.
INSAT-3D - which is adapted from India's I-2K spacecraft bus - will be deployed from Ariane 5's lower passenger position at approximately 32 minutes into the flight. This Indian meteorological satellite was developed by the country's Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) space agency with its ISRO Space Applications Centre.
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com
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