Arianespace’s fifth Ariane 5 flight of 2012 has been approved for its September 28 liftoff following today’s successful launch readiness review, which was performed at the Spaceport in French Guiana.
The review is held prior to each Ariane 5 mission, ensuring that the heavy-lift launch vehicle and its payload are flight-ready, along with the Spaceport’s infrastructure and the network of downrange tracking stations.
With today’s “green light,” Ariane 5 is now cleared for its September 27 rollout from the Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone – where it will be readied for liftoff on Friday at 6:18 p.m. local time in French Guiana.
The payload lift performance for Arianespace’s latest Ariane 5 mission is more than 10,200 kg., which includes some 9,400 kg. for its two satellite passengers – ASTRA 2F and GSAT-10 – along with the launcher’s dual-payload dispenser system and satellite integration hardware.
To be deployed first during the 30-minute flight sequence, ASTRA 2F is a powerful six metric ton-class relay platform that utilizes Astrium’s Eurostar E3000 satellite bus – which will be operated by Luxembourg-based SES for the delivery of high-performance Direct-to-Home (DTH) and next-generation broadband services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Equipped with Ku- and Ka-band payloads, the satellite will weigh some 6,000 kg. at liftoff.
Located below ASTRA 2F in the launcher payload “stack” is the mission’s lower passenger, GSAT-10 – which was built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) using its I-3K satellite bus. The spacecraft – which has a liftoff mass of approximately 3,400 kg. – will provide Ku- and C-band relay capacity when it joins the Indian National Satellite (INSAT) system of geostationary spacecraft. It carries 30 transponders and the GAGAN (GPS and GEO augmented navigation) system.
Arianespace’s September 28 mission continues a busy year of activity for the workhorse Ariane 5. Previous launches conducted in 2012 include the March delivery of Europe’s third Automated Transfer Vehicle for servicing of the International Space Station, along with dual-payload missions that orbited JCSAT-13 & VINASAT-2 (May), EchoStar XVII & MSG-3 (July) and Intelsat 20 & HYLAS 2 (August).
Date: Sep 27, 2012