Press Release

Arianespace boosts SPACEWAY 3 and BSAT-3a into orbit

By SpaceRef Editor
August 14, 2007
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On Tuesday evening August 14, Arianespace placed two communications satellites into geostationary transfer orbit: SPACEWAY 3 for the American operator Hughes Network Systems, LLC, and BSAT-3a for the American manufacturer Lockheed Martin Commercial Satellite Systems as part of a turnkey contract with Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT) of Japan.

33rd Ariane 5 launch, 19th success in a row

This latest successful launch of an Ariane 5, the third so far in 2007, confirms that Arianespace’s launch Services & Solutions best match the requirements of all operators, whether public or private.

Today, Ariane 5 is the only commercial launcher in service capable of simultaneously launching two payloads. With GTO payload capacity of nearly 10,000 kg, Ariane 5 ECA gives Arianespace customers unrivaled performance, flexibility and competitiveness, and continues to set the global standard for launch services.

A launch for leading operators in the U.S. and Japan

SPACEWAY 3 is a Ka-band satellite to be operated by Hughes Network Systems, LLC (Hughes) of the United States. It is part of a new broadband satellite network that will provide multimedia services across North America. SPACEWAY 3’s innovative design includes onboard dynamic multibeam switching to deliver bandwidth on demand and direct site-to-site mesh networking.

BSAT-3a is the eighth satellite in Japan’s BS series to use the European Ariane launcher, and the 22nd for a Japanese operator. It will primarily be used by the prestigious national network NHK for the digital broadcast of TV programs to more than 20 million subscribers. Arianespace has won 23 of the 32 commercial launch service contracts awarded in Japan. BSAT-3a is the 38th Lockheed Martin-built platform to be launched by Arianespace.

A record backlog for Arianespace

With 11 new Service & Solutions launch contracts signed since the beginning of 2007, Arianespace has a backlog of 42 satellites to be launched after tonight’s successful dual-payload launch. Three more Ariane 5 flights are scheduled before the end of 2007.

SPACEWAY 3/BSAT-3a mission at a glance

The mission was carried out by an Ariane 5 ECA launcher from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Liftoff was on Tuesday, August 14, at 8:44 pm local time in Kourou (7:44 pm in Washington, DC, 23:44 GMT, and on Wednesday, August 15 at 1:44 am in Paris and 8:44 am in Tokyo).

Provisional parameters at injection of the Ariane 5’s cryogenic upper stage (ESC-A) were:

Perigee: 249 km for a target of 250 km (+/-3)

Apogee: 35,897 km for a target of 35,925 km (+/-160)

Inclination: 1.993 degrees for a target of 1.999 degrees (+/-0.06*)

SPACEWAY 3 was built by Boeing Satellite Systems, Inc. in El Segundo, California and weighed more than 6,000 kg at liftoff. Fitted with 68 Ka-band transponders, SPACEWAY 3 will be positioned at 95 degrees West. It will provide broadband services for corporations, small businesses, government agencies and individuals throughout North America, Alaska, Hawaii and parts of Latin America.

BSAT-3a was built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems at its Newtown, Pennsylvania plant, using an A2100 A platform. Weighing 1,980 kg at liftoff, it will be positioned at 110 degrees East and has a design life exceeding 13 years. Equipped with twelve 130-watt Ku-band channels, eight operating at one time, BSAT-3a is optimized to provide direct digital TV links throughout Japan from its geostationary orbit position.

SpaceRef staff editor.