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ELA-3 Launch Zone Receives Its Fourth Ariane 5 Of 2008

File image of an Ariane-5 during processing.
by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) Jul 08, 2008
The Ariane 5 for Arianespace's fourth mission of 2008 has moved to the ELA-3 launch zone at Europe's Spaceport, clearing the way for its July 7 liftoff with a dual payload of commercial telecommunications satellites.

This heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA rolled out of the Final Assembly Building at Europe's Spaceport today (July 6), covering a 2.8-km. section of the dual-rail track that links the Spaceport's major launch infrastructure elements.

The Ariane 5 ECA will deliver a payload performance of 8,639 kg. - which includes 7,537 kg. For the mission's ProtoStar I and BADR-6 spacecraft passengers, along with their integration hardware and the SYLDA 5 multiple satellite dispenser system.

ProtoStar I is the first in a fleet of relay platforms that Asian satellite services company ProtoStar will deploy for advanced satellite television services and powerful two-way broadband communications access.

It is based on Space Systems/Loral's 1300 spacecraft bus, and will provide K-band/C-band relay capacity over Asia for the needs of both emerging and existing direct-to-home (DTH) operators, as well as other broadband communication requirements in the region.

Arabsat's BADR-6 satellite will open up new video broadcasting and telecommunications services for the entire Middle East and North Africa region, along with a large part of sub-Saharan Africa.

Built by EADS Astrium, the Ku/C-band relay platform is designed for a lifetime of about 15 years, and will operate from Arabsat's 26 deg. E geostationary orbital location.

Tomorrow's mission is part Arianespace's accelerated flight rate in 2008, during which a total of seven Ariane 5 missions are planned. This will be the busiest year since Ariane 5's commercial service introduction in 1999.

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Successful Ariane 5 Solid Rocket Booster Test Firing
Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) Jun 27, 2008
Earlier this month a successful test firing of an Ariane 5 solid rocket booster took place at the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. The test was part of the Ariane 5 Research and Technology Accompaniment (ARTA) Programme.

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