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Final Payload Integration Begins On Ariane 5's Sixth Flight Of 2008

File image.
by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) Dec 12, 2008
Preparations for Arianespace's year-end launch of 2008 entered their final phase with the startup of payload integration on the Ariane 5 at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana.

During activity in the Ariane 5 Final Assembly Building this morning, the W2M satellite was installed atop the launcher's core cryogenic stage. W2M is one of two satellites to be orbited on December 20 for the European-based Eutelsat telecommunications provider, along with its HOT BIRD 9 relay platform.

W2M is a multi-national spacecraft, developed and produced by a European-Indian alliance of EADS Astrium and ANTRIX (the commercial arm of ISRO - the Indian Space Research Organisation). Astrium is prime contractor, with responsibility for overall program management and the satellite's communications payload.

ISRO provided the satellite bus - which is based on the flight-proven I-3K spacecraft design - and also handled W2M's integration and testing.

Liftoff mass of W2M will be 3,460 kg., and the spacecraft has an operating lifetime of more than 15 years. After its deployment by Ariane 5, W2M is to be positioned at an orbital slot of 16 deg. East. It will typically operate 26 transponders in Ku-band, and up to 32 depending on the selected operational modes.

The satellite is designed to deliver a wide range of services, from television broadcasting to data networks and broadband. Its fixed beam covers Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, and the steerable beam is capable of being re-oriented in orbit to meet market requirements - notably for Africa and central Asia.

Joining W2M on Ariane 5's December 20 launch is the 4,880-kg. HOT BIRD 9 spacecraft, which was built by Astrium and is configured with 64 Ku-band transponders. This high-power satellite will handle relay duties for digital and new high-definition TV channels, as well as interactive services.

To be located at Eutelsat's premium video neighborhood orbital slot of 13 deg. East, HOT BIRD 9 will provide coverage throughout Europe, and also is to reach North Africa and the Middle East.

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Launch Of Ariane 5 Rocket From Kourou Postponed
Paris, France (RIA Novosti) Dec 09, 2008
The launch of an Ariane 5 carrier rocket with two telecoms satellites from the Kourou space center in French Guiana has been moved to December 21, French media said on Monday.

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