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Its A Go For Arianespace's Second Ariane 5 Mission Of 2008

As preparations for the April 18 mission are nearing completion in the Spaceport's Final Assembly Building, another Ariane 5 is taking shape in the nearby Launcher Integration Building. This vehicle also is a heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA, and it will carry another dual-satellite payload.
by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) Apr 17, 2008
The second Ariane 5 flight of 2008 was given a green light for its April 18 liftoff following the launch readiness review at the Spaceport in French Guiana. This review, which is conducted prior to each mission, validated the readiness of Ariane 5, its dual-passenger payload of the Star One C2 and Vinasat-1 satellites, the launch infrastructure at Europe's Spaceport, and the network of downrange tracking stations.

All is now ready for the Ariane 5's rollout tomorrow from its Final Assembly Building to the Spaceport's ELA-3 launch zone. This will clear the way for a final countdown to Friday's liftoff, which is scheduled at the 7:16 p.m. opening of a 1-hour 7-min. Launch window.

Arianespace's April 18 launch will be the 34th commercial flight for Ariane 5. The configuration used for Friday's mission is the launcher's most powerful version - an Ariane 5 ECA. Its total payload delivery performance on this flight is approximately 7,760 kg. - which includes the 4,100-kg. Mass of Star One C2 and the 2,637-kg. Vinasat-1, along with integration hardware such as the payload adapters and SYLDA 5 satellite dispenser system.

Vinasat-1 is the mission's lower payload, and is installed inside the 6.4-meter tall SYLDA 5 dispenser. Riding above it is Star One C2, which has been encapsulated in Ariane 5's 17-meter-tall payload fairing.

The Vinasat-1 spacecraft is Vietnam's first telecommunications satellite, and will be positioned at an orbital slot of 132 deg. East after its deployment by Ariane 5. Built by U.S.-based Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems for the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Corporation, Vinasat-1 carries a payload of 12 Ku-band and 8 C-band transponders.

Star One C2 was produced by Thales Alenia Space, and is to be utilized by Brazil's Star One telecommunications operator. It carries a payload of 28 C-band transponders, 16 Ku-band transponders, and 1 X-band transponder, and will be located at an orbital position of 70 deg. West.

As preparations for the April 18 mission are nearing completion in the Spaceport's Final Assembly Building, another Ariane 5 is taking shape in the nearby Launcher Integration Building. This vehicle also is a heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA, and it will carry another dual-satellite payload.

Arianespace is targeting a total of seven missions in 2008, making it the most active year of launches since the vehicle's 1999 commercial introduction. The first Arianespace mission of 2008 was conducted March 9, when an Ariane 5 ES launcher version orbited the no. 1 Automated Transfer Vehicle, which subsequently docked with the International Space Station.

earlier related report
Lockheed Martin-Built Vinasat-1 Satellite Ready For Launch
Newtown, Pa, April 16 - The Vinasat-1 communications satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin for Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) of Vietnam, is ready for launch on April 18 aboard an Ariane 5-ECA launch vehicle provided by Arianespace.

Vinasat-1 is based on Lockheed Martin's A2100A spacecraft platform and represents the first satellite system ever procured by the nation of Vietnam. Vinasat-1 features 12 operating Ku Band transponders providing coverage over Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and part of Myanmar.

The spacecraft also features 8 C-Band primary transponders providing coverage over Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Southeast Asia, India, Japan and Australia. Vinasat-1 is designed for a minimum service life of 15 years and will be located at orbital slot 132 degrees east.

The turnkey satellite system is expected to improve telecommunications in Vietnam by transmitting radio, television and telephone communications to all corners of the country.

The spacecraft will enable state-of-the-art communications, providing the Vietnamese people the opportunity to use multiple new services such as mobile broadcasting, direct- to-home television, video conferencing and data transmission.

In addition, Vinasat-1 will improve the nation's communication networks infrastructure by removing dependence on ground networks and allowing 100% of Vietnam's rural communities to be equipped with telephones and televisions.

In addition to VNPT, Lockheed Martin has delivered 18 spacecraft to Asian customers, including eight A2100 satellites.

The Lockheed Martin A2100 geosynchronous spacecraft series is designed to meet a wide variety of telecommunications needs including Ka-band broadband and broadcast services, fixed satellite services in C-band and Ku-band, high-power direct broadcast services using the Ku-band frequency spectrum and mobile satellite services using UHF, L-band, and S-band payloads.

The A2100's modular design features a reduction in parts, simplified construction, increased on-orbit reliability and reduced weight and cost.

Related Links
Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT)
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Europe Launches Jules Verne Robot Space Freighter
Kourou (AFP) Mar 09, 2008
The European Space Agency on Sunday carried out the maiden launch of a massive robot freighter designed to rendezvous automatically with the orbital space station.

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