Headlines > News > Ariane 5 moves to the launch pad with TerreStar-1 for Arianespace’s third launch of 2009

Ariane 5 moves to the launch pad with TerreStar-1 for Arianespace’s third launch of 2009

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Jul 1, 2009 6:59 am
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(Arianespace) – The industry’s workhorse heavy-lift launcher is ready for liftoff with the largest commercial telecommunications satellite ever built, following Ariane 5’s rollout today with its TerreStar-1 payload at the Spaceport in French Guiana.

Emerging from the Final Assembly Building at 11:00 a.m., the Ariane 5 was transferred to the ELA-3 launch zone, where it now is poised for an afternoon liftoff tomorrow, July 1.

Ariane 5 On Launch Pad

Ariane 5 On Launch Pad

Weighing in at nearly 6,910 kg. for launch, TerreStar-1 is riding as a single passenger on this dedicated Ariane 5 ECA, and will be deployed into geostationary transfer orbit at 26 minutes into the mission.

TerreStar-1 is to operate in the 2 GHz spectrum, and is equipped with an 18-meter deployable reflector and powerful S-Band feed array.  Its operator – the American-based TerreStar Networks, Inc. – will utilize the spacecraft to provide voice, data and video communications to satellite/terrestrial mobile devices the size of a typical smart phone.

This large satellite was built by Space Systems/Loral in California with the company’s 1300 spacecraft bus, and will be capable of managing some 500 spot beams.  TerreStar-1’s relay services are tailored to provide critical services for government, emergency responders, rural communities and commercial users throughout the United States and Canada.

After its launch by Ariane 5, the satellite will be positioned at the 111 deg. West orbital slot, where it is expected to have a design lifetime of more than 15 years.

The Ariane 5’s total payload lift performance for tomorrow’s mission is set at 7,055 kg., which includes the mass of its TerreStar-1 payload, plus the associated integration/deployment systems and hardware.  Liftoff is planned at the start of a two-hour launch window, which opens at 1:13 p.m. local time in French Guiana.

Arianespace’s mission with TerreStar-1 will be the company’s third Ariane 5 flight of 2009, with a total of seven launches planned during the year.  The heavy-lift vehicle for Arianespace’s subsequent mission has completed its build-up in the Spaceport’s Launcher Assembly Building, and will be transferred to the Final Assembly Building – which is now open following this morning’s rollout of the Ariane 5 with TerreStar-1.

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