by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Jul 23, 2013
It is a tradition for satellite passengers on Arianespace missions to be accompanied by their logos on a launch vehicle's payload fairing during the first minutes of flight - and this week's Ariane 5 mission with Alphasat and INSAT-3D is no exception.
During recent activity in the Spaceport's Final Assembly Building for Ariane 5, a decal with the logo for Inmarsat - which will operate the Alphasat spacecraft once in orbit - was positioned on the fairing's upper portion.
Below it is a horizontal band of symbols for INSAT-3D: the Indian flag; the Indian Space Research Organisation's logo, along with India's national emblem based on the Lion Capital of Ashoka; and the INSAT-3D name written in Sanskrit and English.
Also included on the fairing are logos for the European Space Agency (ESA), UK Space Agency and the French CNES space agency - all representing the partnership that have backed Alphasat's development.
Alphasat carries an advanced, new-generation L-band geo-mobile communications relay system to augment Inmarsat's Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service, enabling increased-capacity communications across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It also is configured with four technology demonstration payloads for ESA.
As Europe's largest telecommunications satellite ever built, Alphasat is the result of a public-private partnership with ESA and Inmarsat, evolved under ESA's Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) program. The UK Space Agency -with the support of the UK's Regional Development Agencies for London, South-East England and East of England - was instrumental in making Alphasat a reality by supporting the development of critical new payload technologies under the ESA ARTES program.
Alphasat is the first of a new satellite bus design for high-power communications relay platforms - designated Alphabus - developed by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space.
The CNES space agency was in charge of defining this product line and participating in developing certain equipment within French industry. CNES brought its expertise in integrating a variety of partnerships between agencies and industry, while also providing its experience in guiding the development of complex and innovative systems.
The INSAT-3D co-passenger on Ariane 5's upcoming mission will provide enhanced meteorological observation and the monitoring of land/ocean surfaces with a six-channel imager and 19-channel sounder. In addition, the Indian spacecraft caries a data relay transponder along with a payload to assist in satellite-aided search and rescue operations.
The Ariane 5 liftoff with Alphasat and INSAT-3D is set for a July 25 at the Spaceport's ELA-3 launch complex. Designated Flight VA214, this mission will have a duration of just under 33 minutes. The launch vehicle's payload fairing - which also includes the Arianespace corporate logo - will protect Ariane 5's two satellite passengers during its ascent through the denser layers of the atmosphere, and will be jettisoned at 3 min., 17 sec. into the flight.
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com
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