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StartSpaceArianespace preps for first Ariane 5 launch of the 12 months –...

Arianespace preps for first Ariane 5 launch of the 12 months – Spaceflight Now


An Ariane 5 rocket on its launch pad Tuesday night on the Guiana House Middle. Credit score: Credit score: ESA/CNES/Arianespace/P. Piron

Two geostationary communications satellites for India’s house company and a Malaysian firm will rocket into orbit from the jungle of South America on Wednesday on a European-built Ariane 5 launcher.

The launch window Wednesday opens at 5:03 p.m. EDT (2103 GMT; 6:03 p.m. French Guiana time) and extends till 6:43 p.m. EDT (2243 GMT; 7:43 p.m. French Guiana time).

Arianespace, the French launch service firm, transferred the Ariane 5 rocket from the ultimate meeting constructing to the ELA-3 launch zone on the Guiana House Middle on Tuesday. The mission Wednesday would be the first flight of an Ariane 5 rocket this 12 months, and the primary for the reason that launch of the James Webb House Telescope on Dec. 25.

The launch will mark the 257th flight of an Ariane rocket since 1979, and the 113th launch of an Ariane 5 rocket since 1996. It’s additionally one in all 5 Ariane 5 flights remaining earlier than Arianespace retires the rocket for substitute by the next-generation Ariane 6 launcher.

The Ariane 5 launch workforce on the spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, plans to load cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants into the rocket’s core stage and higher stage Wednesday, resulting in the beginning of the ultimate seven-minute automated launch sequence.

The 180-foot-tall (55-meter) rocket’s Vulcain 2 core stage engine will hearth because the countdown clock reaches zero, starting a seven-second checkout earlier than the Ariane 5 lights its twin strong rocket boosters to start the climb into house.

The Ariane 5 will head east over the Atlantic Ocean, driving 2.9 million kilos of thrust for the primary two minutes of the flight. The dual boosters will burn out and jettison, leaving the cryogenic core stage to burn till the nine-minute mark of the mission.

The core stage will separate to fall into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa, and the higher stage will ignite its HM7B engine to ship the MEASAT 3d and GSAT 24 communications satellites into an elliptical, or oval-shaped, geostationary switch orbit.

The mission patch for the VA257 mission. Credit score: Arianespace

MEASAT 3b, weighing 12,451 kilos (5,648 kilograms), will deploy from the higher place within the Ariane 5 rocket’s dual-payload stack. The rocket will jettison a Sylda payload adapter construction to disclose the 9,217-pound (4,181-kilogram) GSAT 24 communications satellite tv for pc for separation about 40 minutes after liftoff, finishing the launch section of the mission.

The Ariane 5 rocket will goal to ship the MEASAT 3d and GSAT 24 satellites into an orbit ranging between 155 miles (250 kilometers) and 22,236 miles (35,786 kilometers) in altitude, with an inclination of 6 levels to the equator.

The satellites will use on-board thrusters to circularize their orbits at geostationary altitude greater than 22,000 miles over the equator, the place their speeds will match the speed of Earth’s rotation.

MEASAT 3d, in-built Europe by Airbus, is starting a mission designed to final at the very least 18 years for the Malaysian telecom firm MEASAT. The brand new spacecraft can be co-located with two different MEASAT satellites at 91.5 levels east longitude.

In line with MEASAT, the brand new satellite tv for pc will present broadband web and direct-to-home tv broadcast companies throughout Malaysia and the broader Asia-Pacific area. MEASAT 3d carries C-band, Ku-band, and Ka-band communications payloads.

The $272 million (1.2 billion Malaysian ringgit) satellite tv for pc is predicated on Airbus’s Eurostar 3000 spacecraft bus.

The MEASAT 3d satellite tv for pc is unpacked from its delivery container after arriving on the Guiana House Middle in Could for launch preparations. Credit score: Credit score: ESA/CNES/Arianespace/S. Martin

MEASAT 3d additionally hosts an L-band navigation augmentation payload for South Korea to cut back errors in GPS navigation knowledge and enhance air site visitors management. A Q/V-band payload on the satellite tv for pc will permit MEASAT to check sign propagation results in excessive rainfall areas like Malaysia, enabling the design of subsequent era satellites, in line with Airbus.

MEASAT 3d additionally hosts an L-band navigation augmentation payload for South Korea to cut back errors in GPS navigation knowledge and enhance air site visitors management. A Q/V-band payload on the satellite tv for pc will permit MEASAT to check sign propagation results in excessive rainfall areas like Malaysia, enabling the design of subsequent era satellites, in line with Airbus.

The GSAT 24 satellite tv for pc is launching to start a 15-year mission offering direct-to-home tv programming to Indian shoppers.

The spacecraft is driving within the decrease place on the Ariane 5’s dual-payload stack, and heading for an working place in geostationary orbit at 83 levels longitude. GSAT 24 was constructed by the Indian House Analysis Group, India’s house company. The satellite tv for pc is owned and operated by NewSpace India Restricted, or NSIL, the business arm of ISRO.

NSIL has leased TV broadcast capability on GSAT 24 to M/s Tata Play, a direct-to-home tv supplier that claims it provides greater than 600 channels to greater than 23 million customers throughout India.

The GSAT 24 satellite tv for pc is mounted on high of the Ariane 5 launcher. Credit score: ESA/CNES/Arianespace/S. Martin

GSAT 24’s communications payload consists of 24 Ku-band transponders. ISRO mentioned the GSAT 24 satellite tv for pc is India’s first “demand-driven” mission after current authorities reforms transitioning the nation’s house program to a extra market-based orientation, quite than a government-driven paradigm.

MEASAT 3d and GSAT 24 arrived in Could on the Guiana House Middle from their factories in France and India. Groups fueled the satellites with maneuvering propellants earlier than positioning them on high of the Ariane 5 launcher.

E mail the writer.

Comply with Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.



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