Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Space Travel News .

The Athena-Fidus satellite is readied for Arianespace first heavy-lift mission of 2014
by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Dec 26, 2013

Athena-Fidus satellite arrives at launch base in French Guiana

The multi-role Athena-Fidus satellite has completed initial checkout at the Spaceport as it is readied for a dual-payload, geostationary transfer orbit launch on Arianespace's first flight in 2014.

To be lofted January 23 from French Guiana along with the ABS-2 spacecraft aboard a heavy-lift Arianespace Ariane 5, this mission will commence a very busy 2014 - with 12 to 14 launches in preparation.

The year-opening mission carrying Athena-Fidus and ABS-2 is designated Flight VA217 in Arianespace's numbering system, signifying the 217th launch of an Ariane vehicle since the European-developed launcher family began operations on December 24, 1979.

Athena-Fidus was built by program prime contractor Thales Alenia Space on behalf of the French CNES and Italian ASI space agencies, as well as the French DGA and Italian Segredifesa defense ministry organizations. It will provide data transmission services for the French and Italian defense ministries, as well as these countries' security organizations.

The satellite carries EHF and Ka-band transponders for the defense requirements of the two nations, while also serving such operations as civil and homeland security, law enforcement and firefighting.

It derives the Athena-Fidus name from the program reference "Access on theatres for European allied forces nations-French Italian dual use satellite," and is based on a Spacebus 4000 relay platform. With a liftoff mass of more than 3,000 kg., the spacecraft has an operational design life exceeding 15 years.

Joining Athena-Fidus on the dual-payload Ariane 5 mission is ABS-2 - a C-, Ku- and Ka-band satellite designed to provide global satellite operator ABS with multiple services that include direct-to-home and cable television distribution, VSAT services, data networks, and telecommunications services.

ABS-2 was built by Space Systems/Loral (SSL), and will be one of the most powerful commercial satellites in the Eastern Hemisphere - delivering more than 12 kW of payload power and up to 89 active transponders across 10 different beams.

Once positioned at its orbital slot of 75 deg. East longitude, it will bring increased capacity and transmission power to the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, and the Commonwealth of Independent States/Russia.


Related Links
Launch Pad at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Gaia secured inside fairing
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Dec 18, 2013
ESA's billion-star surveyor Gaia, less than a week from launch, is now tucked up inside the fairing that will protect it during the first few minutes of ascent into space. Last week, Gaia was loaded with the propellants it will need to journey to its 'L2' destination, a gravitationally stable location 1.5 million km away from Earth, from where it will survey our Milky Way galaxy. Aft ... read more

Antares Launch Scheduled For Jan 7

The Athena-Fidus satellite is readied for Arianespace first heavy-lift mission of 2014

Russian Rocket Puts Telecoms Satellite Into Orbit

Boeing, Energia Achieve Mixed Results in Counterclaims

'Mars One' will reveal if there is life outside Earth

Mars One mission: big work ahead

Curious Results from Mars

ISRO end year on high note after Mars mission

Chang'e 3 Lander and Rover From Above

China's moon rover "sleeps" through lunar night

Will the Moon be carved-up?

NASA Releases New Earthrise Simulation Video

The Sounds of New Horizons

On the Path to Pluto, 5 AU and Closing

SwRI study finds that Pluto satellites' orbital ballet may hint of long-ago collisions

Archival Hubble Images Reveal Neptune's "Lost" Inner Moon

Using an Atmosphere to Weigh a Planet

Gaia Mission Could Help Map Exoplanets

First detection of a predicted unseen exoplanet

Astronomers solve temperature mystery of planetary atmospheres

Russia launches upgraded Soyuz rocket

First launch of new Soyuz rocket with redesigned engine delayed

JAXA plans to test new large rocket from 2020

SLS Chief Engineer Driven by 'Challenge' of Building America's Next Great Rocket

China launches communications satellite for Bolivia

China's moon rover continues lunar survey after photographing lander

China's Yutu "naps", awakens and explores

Deep space monitoring station abroad imperative

Dwarf Planet Ceres - 'A Game Changer in the Solar System'

NASA's Asteroid Hunter Spacecraft Returns First Images after Reactivation

Dawn Creates Guide to Vesta's Hidden Attractions

What happens to ISON's remains?

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement