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New Australian satellite to launch

Artist's impression of the Jabiru-1 satellite

Artist's impression of the Jabiru-1 satellite, due to launch in 2014 aboard an Ariane 5 rocket.

IT WAS ANNOUNCED TODAY that Australian communications company NewSat has chosen Arianespace to launch its first satellite, Jabiru-1, in 2014.

Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, and Adrian Ballintine, founder and Chief Executive Officer of NewSat Limited (NewSat), today signed the launch services contract for the Jabiru-1 satellite at Satellite 2012 in Washington, DC.

Jabiru-1 will be boosted into geostationary transfer orbit by an Ariane 5 launch vehicle from the Guiana Space Centre, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, during the fourth quarter of 2014.

Geostationary transfer orbit is a “halfway” orbit, from which a satellite’s own rocket  motor then boosts it into its final orbit.

Jabiru-1 is currently being built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems using an A2100 platform. Weighing 5,900 kg at launch, it will be fitted with 50 Ka-band transponders configured in a variety of multi-spot, steerable and regional beams.

Launch of an Ariane 5 rocket

Launch of an Ariane 5 rocket

Jabiru-1’s high-powered capacity will provide flexible communication solutions to enterprise and government customers across Asia, the Middle East and eastern Africa. It offers a design life of 15 years.

Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman and CEO of Arianespace, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen by NewSat to launch their first satellite. Arianespace is particularly proud of this opportunity to serve a new Australian operator. For us, this latest contract provides further recognition of the outstanding quality and competitiveness of our launch services.”

The announcement comes only months after Arianespace also won the competition to launch Optus’ next satellite, Optus 10.

“Jabiru-1 is very important for us and we are very pleased to entrust Arianespace with its launch, since Arianespace sets the world standard in this market,” said Adrian Ballintine. “It is extremely important for us at NewSat to know that our first satellite will be launched by Arianespace and by Ariane 5, both synonymous with reliability and excellence.”

Arianespace is the world’s leading launch service & solutions company, providing innovation to its customers since 1980. As of 1st March 2012, Arianespace had performed 204 Ariane launches (298 payloads), 26 Soyuz launches (24 at Baikonur, Kazakhstan, and two at the Guiana Space Centre) and the first launch of Vega. It has a backlog of 23 Ariane 5, 15 Soyuz and two Vega launches, equal to more than three years of business.

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Adapted from information issued by Arianespace.

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Video: dual-satellite launch

The Arianespace company celebrated its third successful launch of 2010, as an Ariane 5 rocket on flight V196 thundered into space on August 4 from the Spaceport launch complex in Kourou, French Guiana.

Aboard the rocket were two satellites that will provide telecommunications services to Africa, the Middle East and Persian Gulf states: NILESAT 201 for Egyptian-based Nilesat, and RASCOM-QAF1R for the Pan-African satellite operator, RascomStar-QAF. Both spacecraft were built by Thales Alenia Space.

The heavy-lift Ariane 5 delivered an estimated total payload lift performance of 7,085 kg, which included 6,250 kg for the NILESAT 201 and RASCOM-QAF1R satellites, plus their integration hardware and the SYLDA 5 dual-payload dispenser system.

NILESAT 201 was released first in the flight sequence, being deployed from the top of Ariane 5’s payload “stack” at just under 29 minutes into the mission. With a lift-off mass of about 3,200-kg, the satellite carries 24 Ku-band and 4 Ka-band transponders, and is to be positioned at an orbital slot of 7 deg. West. It will provide direct television broadcasting for the Middle East, Africa and Gulf states, and also has the relay capability to open new markets such as broadband Internet access.

The RASCOM-QAF1R platform weighed approximately 3,050 kg at lift-off and is to be operated from an orbital position of 2.85 degrees East. It is designed to deliver communications services to rural parts of Africa, including long-distance domestic and international links, direct TV broadcasts and Internet access.

Three more Ariane 5 flights planned for the rest of this year. In addition, preparations continue for the upcoming introductions of the Soyuz and Vega launchers at the Spaceport.

Adapted from information issued by Arianespace.

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Rocket launch video

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.

Launch of the Ariane 5 V195 mission

Launch of the Ariane 5 V195 mission

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.