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Ariane Flight VA214 --July 25 2013

anilsk01

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the launch rhythm continues: Arianespace takes delivery of its next Ariane 5 at the Spaceport


Spaceport mission activity for Arianespace’s Flight VA214 includes the transfer of Ariane 5 to its Final Assembly Building yesterday (photo at left), along with on-going checkout of the INSAT-3D satellite (at center) and the Alphasat relay platform (at right).
Ariane Flight VA214

Arianespace is keeping up the mission pace at its French Guiana base of operations with the acceptance of another heavy-lift Ariane 5, which now is being readied for the integration of a dual-satellite payload to be orbited on July 25.

The vehicle for this next Spaceport liftoff was transferred yesterday from the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building – where it underwent the basic build-up – to the Final Assembly Building, formally transferring authority for the Ariane 5 to Arianespace from industrial prime contractor Astrium.

Designated Flight VA214 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system (signifying the 214th liftoff of an Ariane-series vehicle), the mission will mark the 70th launch of the workhorse Ariane 5 and is to loft the INSAT-3D meteorological satellite along with the Alphasat communications relay platform.

INSAT-3D was developed by India’s space agency, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and carries weather forecasting payloads along with a search and rescue relay system. Its liftoff mass will be approximately 2,100 kg.

As part of the pre-launch checkout process, INSAT-3D underwent a test deployment of its solar panels in the Spaceport’s clean room facilities – which is a typical checkout step performed by ISRO with its satellites once they are in French Guiana.

Riding as co-passenger on the upcoming Ariane 5 flight is Europe’s Alphasat, which is ranked as one of the world’s most sophisticated communications satellites. Alphasat carries a new-generation advanced mobile L-band communications payload along with four technological demonstration payloads for the European Space Agency.

Built by Astrium as prime contractor, Alphasat will have a mass of more than six metric tons at launch, and is to be operated under an agreement between the European Space Agency and European commercial satellite operator Inmarsat.

The previous Spaceport missions performed by Arianespace so far this year were the June 25 medium-lift Soyuz launch that orbited O3b Networks’ first four connectivity satellites; an Ariane 5 flight on June 5 with Europe’s fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle, which was Ariane’s heaviest payload ever; the May 7 liftoff of Vega on this lightweight vehicle’s second flight, carrying the Proba-V, VNREDSat-1 and ESTCube-1 satellites; and an Ariane 5 mission on February 7 with the Amazonas 3 and Azerspace/Africasat-1a passengers.

Completing the 2013 activity to date was a Soyuz launch from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome on February 6, conducted by Arianespace’s Starsem affiliate with six second-generation Globalstar satellites. It marked the fourth and final mission currently contracted by Globalstar with Arianespace/Starsem for the deployment of its second-generation satellite constellation.
 

anilsk01

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RE: Ariane Flight VA214

Alphasat and INSAT-3D are fueled for Arianespace’s heavy-lift Ariane 5 flight from French Guiana on July 25
– Ariane Flight VA214


The two satellite passengers for Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 mission are being fueled at the Spaceport, preparing them for a July 25 liftoff on the company’s fifth flight in 2013 from French Guiana with its launcher family.

Utilizing the capacity and flexibility of the Spaceport’s large S5 payload preparation facility, the Indian INSAT-3D meteorological platform is receiving its fuel load in the S5B hall, while Europe’s Alphasat telecommunications spacecraft is undergoing a “top-off” in the separate S5A hall.


Alphasat is fueled in the S5A hall of the Spaceport’s S5 payload preparation facility (photo at left), while INSAT-3D receives its fuel load in the S5B hall (at right).
Alphasat is the largest European telecommunications satellite ever built, with a mass exceeding 6.6 metric tons when fueled. It also is the first to use the Alphabus spacecraft bus – the result of a coordinated European response to the increased market demand for larger telecommunication payloads.

Once in orbit, Alphasat will expand the U.K.-based Inmarsat operator’s global mobile telecommunication network – delivering new capabilities in terms of performance and resource availability, providing 50 percent more accessible spectrum with double spectral efficiency and nearly 20 percent more channels. The satellite was built by Astrium, and its solar array will span nearly 40 meters once deployed in orbit, generating more than 12 kW of power.

The Alphasat mission was developed in the largest public–private partnership biggest of its kind, involving Inmarsat and the European Space Agency. This will provide the capacity to handle more than 750 channels in L-band, with improved quality – particularly for satellite phone users. When in service, Alphasat will augment Inmarsat’s Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service, enabling communications across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East with increased capacity.

Alphasat will ride in Ariane 5’s upper payload position, while the INSAT-3D co-passenger is to be accommodated in the lower portion of the payload “stack.” Developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) – the country’s space agency, along with its Space Applications Centre – INSAT-3D is to provide enhanced meteorological observation and the monitoring of land/ocean surfaces with a six-channel imager and 19-channel sounder.

Also integrated on the Indian spacecraft is a data relay transponder, along with a payload to assist in satellite-aided search and rescue operations. INSAT-3D will have a mass at liftoff of approximately 2,100 kg.

Arianespace’s July 25 mission is designated Flight VA214 to signify the 214th launch of an Ariane-series vehicle from French Guiana. It follows the company’s launcher family missions already performed at the Spaceport in 2013 by two other heavy-lift Ariane 5s, along with one mission each of medium-lift Soyuz and lightweight Vega vehicles. Complementing the activity during the first half of 2013 was a Soyuz flight from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome, performed by the Starsem affiliate of Arianespace.
 

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Both payloads for Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 flight are now mated to the launcher


The heavy-lift Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s July 25 mission from French Guiana is now complete following integration of its full payload “stack,” consisting of the Alphasat and INSAT-3D spacecraft.


During integration activity inside the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building for Ariane 5, the payload fairing containing Alphasat is lowered over INSAT-3D to create the launcher’s dual-payload “stack.”
Encapsulated in its ogive-shaped protective fairing, Alphasat was lowered into place yesterday over INSAT-3D – which was installed atop Ariane 5’s cryogenic core stage during activity earlier in the week.

These integration steps were performed inside the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building for Ariane 5, enabling a new series of preparation milestones to begin. They include the launch readiness review on July 23, followed by Ariane 5’s rollout to the ELA-3 launch zone the next day, and subsequent countdown to the July 25 liftoff during a 1-hour, 18-minute launch window that opens at 4:53 p.m. local time in French Guiana.

Ariane 5 is to deliver a payload lift performance of more than 9,750 kg. for the upcoming mission, which includes a combined total of some 8,770 kg. for Alphasat and INSAT-3D, plus the launcher’s SYLDA dual-passenger dispenser system and satellite integration hardware.

Riding as the upper payload in Ariane 5’s stack is Europe’s Alphasat telecommunications spacecraft, which will be released at approximately 27 minutes after liftoff. Developed by Astrium, it is the result of a large-scale public-private partnership involving Inmarsat and the European Space Agency (ESA), and represents the first flight model of Europe’s new Alphabus high capacity satellite platform.

INSAT-3D – which is adapted from India’s I-2K spacecraft bus – will be deployed from Ariane 5’s lower passenger position at approximately 32 minutes into the flight. This Indian meteorological satellite was developed by the country’s Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) space agency with its ISRO Space Applications Centre.
 

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Ariane 5 is in the launch zone for Arianespace’s heavy-lift mission with Alphasat and INSAT-3D


Arianespace’s Ariane 5 mission with the Alphasat and INSAT-3D satellites is on track for liftoff tomorrow following the workhorse heavy-lift vehicle’s rollout to the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch complex in French Guiana.


The Ariane 5 with Alphasat and INSAT-3D nears its final location on the launch pad to complete this morning’s rollout at the Spaceport.

Mounted on the first of two large mobile launch tables in service for Ariane 5, the vehicle emerged from its Final Assembly Building this morning at 11:10 a.m. local time and arrived on the pad 40 minutes later – covering the distance at a speed of approximately 3 km./hr.

The launcher has India’s INSAT-3D satellite installed in the lower position of its payload “stack,” with Europe’s Alphasat as the upper passenger.

The launch window opens at 4:53 p.m. and continues until 6:11 p.m. After liftoff, the flight sequence will last nearly 33 minutes, with Alphasat deployed at just under 28 minutes after launch, followed by the separation of INSAT-3D five minutes later.

Alphasat is Europe’s largest telecommunications satellite ever manufactured and results from a large-scale public-private partnership between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Inmarsat. Built by prime contractor Astrium, it is the first flight model of Europe’s Alphabus high-capacity satellite platform, configured with a new-generation L-band geo-mobile mobile communication relay system and four technology demonstration payloads for ESA.

INSAT-3D was developed by India’s Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) space agency and its ISRO Space Applications Centre, designed to provide meteorological observation and monitoring of land/ocean surfaces. The satellite is equipped with a six-channel imager and 19-channel sounder, as well as a data relay transponder and a payload for satellite-aided search and rescue operations.

Tomorrow’ mission – designated Flight VA214 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system – will be the 214th launch since operations began with the Ariane series of vehicles in 1979, as well as the 70th flight for the heavy-lift Ariane 5 version.
 
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