Headlines > News > The Galaxy 17 and ASTRA 1L payloads are installed on Ariane 5

The Galaxy 17 and ASTRA 1L payloads are installed on Ariane 5

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:28 pm
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Arianespace’s second heavy-lift Ariane 5 of 2007 is now complete at Europe’s Spaceport following the integration of its dual-satellite payload for the upcoming May 3 launch.

ASTRA 1L was installed atop the Ariane 5 yesterday, clearing the way for today’s placement of the upper payload “composite” – which consists of ASTRA 1L, the SYLDA dual-payload dispenser system, and the launch vehicle’s payload fairing.

The photo at left details the final integration activity, which took place in the upper levels of Ariane 5’s Final Assembly Building at the Spaceport. Galaxy 17 is clearly visible in position on the Ariane 5’s core stage – which is surrounded by work scaffolding that provides assess to the launcher and its payloads. In the background, the payload fairing containing ASTRA 1L and the SYLDA dispenser is ready to be lowered over Galaxy 17.

Ariane 5’s dual-passenger capability is one of the keys to Arianespace’s Service & Solutions launch offer, allowing satellites to be paired up for highly efficient and reactive missions. For 2007, Arianespace is targeting a total of six Ariane 5 flights as its launch pace accelerates to a stabilized rate of eight Ariane 5 missions annually by 2009.

The May 3 mission is scheduled for an evening liftoff from Europe’s Spaceport at the start of a 44-minute launch window which opens at 7:29 p.m. Kourou time (22h29 GMT and 00:29 a.m. in Paris).

Intelsat’s Galaxy 17 is equipped with 24 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders, and is designed to provide telecommunications and television coverage over North America. With a liftoff mass of approximately 4 metric tons, it is the 50th geostationary communications satellite based on the Spacebus platform of Europe’s Thales Alénia Space.

ASTRA 1L is the larger of the two payloads for Ariane 5’s upcoming mission, and is configured with 29 Ku-band and 2 Ka-band transponders to provide TV relay services for SES ASTRA. The spacecraft was manufactured in the U.S. by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, and will be the ninth SES ASTRA satellite launched by Arianespace. It is to be positioned at 19.2° East as a replacement satellite for ASTRA’s existing capacity at this orbital slot, strengthening the company’s unique customer service, security and redundancy scheme.

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