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Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Oct 29, 2012
The two satellite passengers to be carried on Arianespace's Flight VA210 - the sixth Ariane 5 mission of 2012 from French Guiana - are undergoing checkout at the Spaceport for their November 9 liftoff.
Orbital Sciences Corporation's Star One C3 spacecraft for Brazilian communications service provider Star One S.A. has begun its pre-launch processing in the S5 payload preparation facility, joining the Thales Alenia Space-built EUTELSAT 21B for Europe's Eutelsat Communications - which currently is being fueled.
EUTELSAT 21B will have a liftoff mass of five metric tons, carrying 40 Ku-band transponders on its Spacebus 4000 platform.
To operate at Eutelsat's 21.5 degrees East orbital position, the satellite will enable Eutelsat to boost capacity at this orbital slot by almost 50 percent - providing relay services for telephone companies, enterprises and government administrations in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.
Star One C3 is based on Orbital's GEOStar bus, and is to weigh in at under 3,200 kg. It is fitted with a hybrid payload to provide C- and Ku-band communications for the South American region.
Arianespace's five Ariane 5 missions conducted to date in 2012 from French Guiana have orbited eight satellites and one Automated Transfer Vehicle for servicing of the International Space Station.
In addition to these heavy-lift flights, the company performed one medium-lift Soyuz mission so far this year from the Spaceport, lofting a pair of Galileo navigation system IOV (In-Orbit Validation) spacecraft, while a Soyuz launch conducted by Arianespace's Starsem affiliate from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome deployed the Metop-B weather satellite.
Adding to the 2012 activity was Arianespace's support for the successful qualification launch of its light-lift Vega vehicle from French Guiana, with this maiden mission performed under responsibility of the European Space Agency.
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com
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