Preparations for Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 mission enter the payload integration


25 Mar 2011
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August 29, 2011 – Ariane Flight VA204

Payload integration for Arianespace’s fifth Ariane 5 mission of 2011 has begun with installation of the Arabsat-5C satellite atop the SYLDA dual-payload dispenser system at the Spaceport in French Guiana.

Arabsat-5C is shown after its installation atop the SYLDA dual-payload dispenser.

Arabsat-5C will ride as the upper passenger in Ariane 5’s payload “stack,” being released first during the flight sequence. Positioned on the canister-shaped dispenser, the Arabsat-5C/SYLDA combination is ready to be encapsulated in the Ariane 5’s payload fairing, and then installed over the lower passenger – SES-2 – which will be mated atop launcher’s core section.

The installation of Arabsat-5C on its SYLDA structure occurred today inside the Spaceport’s launch vehicle Final Assembly Building, with this activity performed in an assembly area adjacent to where the Ariane 5 is parked atop its mobile launch table.

Arabsat-5C is a multi-mission platform for the Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Arabsat), and will provide capacity in both the C- and Ka-bands for a range of communications services. It has an estimated liftoff mass of approximately 4,630 kg., and will operate from Arabsat’s 20 deg. East orbital position.

The satellite was produced in a joint effort of Europe’s EADS Astrium and Thales Alenia Space.

Its SES-2 co-passenger for the Ariane 5 flight was built by Orbital Sciences Corporation of the U.S. for SES WORLD SKIES, and is a hybrid C- and Ku-band spacecraft that will serve North America from an orbital slot of 87 deg. West. This platform has an estimated mass at liftoff of 3,152 kg., and it also carries the Commercially Hosted InfraRed Payload (CHIRP) for the U.S. Air Force – which integrates a wide-field of view sensor in the satellite.

Arianespace has scheduled the heavy-lift Ariane 5 flight with Arabsat-5C and SES-2 for September 9.
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