Status Report

Ariane-5, flight V-130 update, The first payload is mated to Ariane 5 04-09-2000

By SpaceRef Editor
September 5, 2000
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The launch campaign for Flight 130 has entered its final phase, with the first of its two satellite payloads now installed on the heavy-lift vehicle.
GE Americom’s GE-7 spacecraft was mated with the launcher this morning, placed in the lower passenger position. During the mission, the U.S. satellite will ride inside the Sylda 5 multiple payload deployment system, and will be the second spacecraft released from Ariane 5.
Tomorrow, GE-7 will be joined atop the launch vehicle by Luxembourg’s Astra 2B spacecraft for the SociÈtÈ EuropÈenne des Satellites (SES). Astra 2B will ride in the upper position – protected by the Ariane 5’s payload fairing.
This activity is taking place inside the Ariane 5 final assembly building, located on the ELA-3 launch complex at Europe’s Spaceport.
Flight 130 had been on hold since July, when Arianespace and its industrial team decided on a precautionary change-out of thruster hardware in the Ariane 5’s attitude control system.
The mission, now set for September 14, will follow September 6’s Flight 132 with an Ariane 4 as part of Arianespace’s accelerated launch schedule for the second half of 2000.
Flight 130 is Arianespace’s third commercial launch of an Ariane 5. The combined liftoff mass of the two satellite payloads for this mission is approximately 5,255 kg.
The GE-7 satellite is a Lockheed Martin Space Systems A2100-series spacecraft with a launch mass of about 1,935 kg. This C-band satellite will permit coverage of all 50 states and the Caribbean from its orbital position of 137 deg. West Longitude. GE-7’s transponders will be used primarily by cable television programmers requiring regional or national video programming distribution. GE-7 is a replacement for Satcom C1, which currently operates at 137* West Longitude.
Astra 2B’s orbital location will be at 28.2 deg. East, positioning it over central Africa. Using an Astrium EuroStar 2000+ satellite bus, the spacecraft will have an estimated in-orbit lifetime of 14 years and is to join SES’ network of spacecraft that provide analog and digital television channels to 78 million households within the Astra footprint.

SpaceRef staff editor.