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LAUNCH PAD
EchoStar XVII comes to French Guiana for a dual-payload Arianespace flight in June with Ariane
by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) May 14, 2012


illustration only

The initial passenger for Arianespace's third Ariane 5 mission of 2012 is now in French Guiana for a heavy-lift launch scheduled for June 19 from the Spaceport.

A chartered An-124 cargo jetliner arrived this week at Cayenne's Rochambeau/Felix Eboue International Airport with EchoStar XVII, which is a high-throughput telecommunications platform for Hughes Network Systems.

EchoStar XVII is based on Space Systems/Loral's powerful SS/L 1300 satellite platform, and will deliver broadband services to consumers, businesses and government customers across North America.

It employs a multi-spot beam, bent-pipe Ka-band architecture that provides significant additional capacity for Hughes.

The EchoStar XVII platform will be launched from the Spaceport in French Guiana along with the Meteosat Second Generation-3 (MSG-3) weather satellite for EUMETSAT (the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites).

This upcoming dual payload mission will follow Arianespace's launch of another Ariane 5, which will carry the JCSAT-13 and VINASAT-2 telecommunications satellites on May 15.

Arianespace began its 2012 Ariane 5 launch activity in March, when the workhorse vehicle performed its third resupply mission for the International Space Station by orbiting the Edoardo Amaldi Automated Transfer Vehicle.

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