THE MASSIVE ARIANE 5 HEAVY LIFT ROCKET READIES FOR LAUNCH THIS WEEK.
Photo By: Arianespace (All links below).
Thursday July 25, 2013 at 1953 UTC (1553 EST) Arianespace will be launching the mighty Ariane 5 ECA Rocket (designated Flight VA214) with a dual payload of satellites (Alphasat XL & INSAT 3D) from Launch Site ELA-3 at the Arianespace Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
The Alphasat mission was developed in the largest public–private partnership biggest of its kind, involving Inmarsat and the European Space Agency. This will provide the capacity to handle more than 750 channels in L-band, with improved quality – particularly for satellite phone users. When in service, Alphasat will augment Inmarsat’s Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service, enabling communications across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East with increased capacity.
Alphasat will ride in Ariane 5’s upper payload position, while the INSAT-3D co-passenger is to be accommodated in the lower portion of the payload “stack.” Developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) – the country’s space agency, along with its Space Applications Centre – INSAT-3D is to provide enhanced meteorological observation and the monitoring of land/ocean surfaces with a six-channel imager and 19-channel sounder.
Also integrated on the Indian spacecraft is a data relay transponder, along with a payload to assist in satellite-aided search and rescue operations. INSAT-3D will have a mass at liftoff of approximately 2,100 kg.
Ariane 5 carries payloads weighing more than 10 metric tons to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) and over 20 metric tons into low-Earth orbit (LEO).
Ariane 5 ECA is the heavy-lift workhorse for missions to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), and usually carries two satellite payloads. It is powered during the initial flight phase by a cryogenic core stage and two solid rocket boosters, followed by the use of a cryogenic upper stage for orbital injection of the payload.
The Ariane 5 ES is tailored for low-Earth orbit missions with the Automated Transfer Vehicle – a resupply spacecraft for the International Space Station that weighs more than 19,000 kg. at liftoff. This Ariane 5 version also is capable of lofting satellites for Europe’s new Galileo space-based navigation system.
Its primary difference from the Ariane 5 ECA configuration is the use of a storable propellant upper stage, which can perform multiple burns to deploy payloads into the desired orbit.
Live Streaming Launch: http://www.arianespace.tv/
Mission information: http://www.arianespace.com/news-mission-update/2013/1064.asp
Ariane 5 information and data sheets: http://www.arianespace.com/launch-services-ariane5/ariane-5-intro.asp
Ariane 5 users manual: http://www.arianespace.com/launch-services-ariane5/Ariane-5-User’s-Manual.asp