Arianespace stepped up its 2010 launch pace with the successful lift-off of a “dual-passenger” Ariane 5 rocket mission on Saturday, which lofted payloads for the Middle East and South Korea.
Launching from the ELA-3 launch facility in French Guiana, the Ariane 5 ECA placed Arabsat-5A and COMS into geostationary transfer orbits—providing a payload delivery performance of approximately 7,400 kg.
“This launch is the 37th consecutive success for our Ariane 5 launcher, and it clearly demonstrates our policy of quality—which is exactly what you—our customers expect, and I thank you for the confidence you have always shown for us,” Arianespace Chairman & CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall said in comments from the Spaceport’s Jupiter mission control room.
During Saturday’s launch, the Arabsat-5A satellite was deployed first during the flight sequence, being released from atop Ariane 5’s payload “stack” at 26 minutes into the mission. Produced by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space for the Arabsat telecommunications operator, the satellite had a mass at lift-off of about 4,940 kg.
Arabsat-5A carries transponders for telecommunications and TV broadcasting services over the Middle East and Africa. Astrium provided the Eurostar 3000 spacecraft platform and was responsible for satellite integration, while Thales Alenia Space supplied the payload.
The COMS satellite was separated from Ariane 5 at 32 minutes into the flight. The multi-purpose COMS spacecraft for South Korea’s KARI (Korea Aerospace Research Institute) is fitted with three payloads for meteorological observation, ocean surveillance and experimental broadband multimedia communications services.
Following the launch, Le Gall announced that the next Ariane 5 mission will be another dual-passenger flight, which is scheduled for August 3 with RASCOM-QAF 1R and NILESAT 201.
“Since the creation of our company 30 years ago, we have successfully launched 281 satellites,” Le Gall said. “And this will continue, as our order book today has 34 satellites for launch to geostationary orbit, along with six Ariane 5 missions with the Automated Transfer Vehicle, and 17 launches to be performed by Soyuz. And since the beginning of 2010, we already have signed nine new contracts—the latest of which is with the Argentinean operator Arsat, which I am announcing today as a new contract.”
Adapted from information issued by Arianespace.