The Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s third mission in 2010 is ready to enter the final launch preparation phase, during which this heavy-lift vehicle will receive its dual-satellite payload.
Scheduled for liftoff from the Spaceport on August 4, this Ariane 5 ECA will carry a pair of Thales Alenia Space-produced spacecraft: NILESAT 201 and RASCOM-QAF1R. Both satellites have been undergoing processing following their June arrival in French Guiana.
The upcoming mission is designated V196, signifying the 196th launch of an Ariane family vehicle. The Ariane 5 for this flight was delivered to Arianespace earlier this month by EADS Astrium, which is the heavy-lift vehicle’s industrial prime contractor.
Astrium performed the Ariane 5’s build-up in the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building, and then transferred it to the Final Assembly Building, where it was received by Arianespace.
Riding as the flight’s upper passenger for the August 4 mission, NILESAT 201 will be deployed first in the launch sequence – to ultimately be positioned at an orbital slot of 7 degrees West longitude.
The satellite will deliver digital Direct-to-Home (DTH) TV and radio broadcasting – along with high-speed data transmission services – to North Africa and the Middle East at the service of Egyptian satellite operator Nilesat. Utilizing a Spacebus 4000B2 platform, this relay platform is equipped with 24 Ku-band and 4 Ka-band transponders. NILESAT 201 will weigh nearly 3,200 kg. at launch.
NILESAT 201 is to be installed atop the Ariane 5 SYLDA dual-payload dispenser system, positioning it over this mission’s lower passenger, RASCOM-QAF1R.
With a launch mass of approximately 3,000 kg., RASCOM-QAF1R will cover the African continent, as well as parts of Europe and the Middle East, from an orbital slot of 2.85 degrees East. It is based on the Spacebus 4000B3 platform, and is equipped with 12 Ku-band and 8 C-band transponders.
This spacecraft will ensure service continuity for the RascomStar-QAF operator and its customers, providing African access to advanced communications and information technologies – in particular rural telephony