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Skynet 5B Satellite Ready For Launch On 9th November

The Skynet 5 satellites are based on Astrium's Eurostar E3000 satellite platform with a 34m solar array span and a launch mass of 4.65 tonnes. Skynet 5B will be positioned at 53 degrees East.
by Staff Writers
Stevenage, UK (SPX) Nov 07, 2007
Astrium is on target for the second Skynet 5 satellite launch this year with Skynet 5B scheduled for launch from Kourou, French Guiana on 9 November 2007 on an Ariane 5 launch vehicle. Astrium plays a triple role on the Skynet 5 programme responsible for the service provision through its company Paradigm, prime contractor on the launcher Ariane 5 and also as prime contractor for the satellites and associated ground segment.

A new era in secure military communications for the UK Ministry of Defence began when the Skynet 5A satellite entered service in April 2007 following successful launch from Kourou, French Guiana on 11 March 2007.

Skynet 5 is the groundbreaking next generation military satellite communications programme for the UK Ministry of Defence. Secure communications services are being delivered by the owner and operator, Paradigm, part of Astrium Services, with the system, including the satellites, designed and built by Astrium Satellites. Astrium Space Transportation is prime contractor on Ariane 5.

This will be another major milestone in the large, complex and technically advanced Skynet 5 PFI and is the culmination of many years' collaboration and partnership between the MoD, Paradigm, Astrium, EADS and financial experts.

The launch of Skynet 5B will be followed by the launch of Skynet 5C in mid 2008 - an in-orbit spare. The satellites will meet long haul communications needs for the UK MoD and Paradigm's other international customers.

The Skynet 5 satellites are based on Astrium's Eurostar E3000 satellite platform with a 34m solar array span and a launch mass of 4.65 tonnes. Skynet 5B will be positioned at 53 degrees East.

François Auque, CEO of Astrium said: "Skynet 5 remains a flagship programme for Astrium, showcasing our combined capabilities across all aspects of space - services, satellites and space transportation. The launch of Skynet 5B will add another level to the service we provide to the UK MoD - a service already greatly enhanced following the success of Skynet 5A which is providing the next generation of advanced military satellite communications."

Malcolm Peto, Managing Director of Paradigm said: "We are all very excited about the launch of Skynet 5B. The programme continues to deliver success and is an excellent example of what can be achieved with co-operation between industry and the UK Ministry of Defence. The introduction of 5B will further enhance the way that Paradigm delivers mission critical communications services to our deployed military customers. We will be faster and better than ever at meeting our customers' operational requirements."

Astrium has met the triple challenge on Skynet 5 - responsible for the satellites, the service provision through Paradigm and prime contractorship on the launcher Ariane 5.

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ESA To Provide Essential Launch Control Services To EUMETSAT
Paris, France (SPX) Nov 07, 2007
ESA and EUMETSAT, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, agreed today that ESA will provide essential launch control services for the last two Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellites, MSG-3 and MSG-4. Under the agreement, ESA will provide control services during the critical launch and early orbit phase (LEOP), which involves moving the satellite from its initial position after separation from the launcher to its final orbit position 36,000 kilometres above the Earth.

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