Status Report

Arianespace Flight 161: The satellites meet their Ariane 5 launcher

By SpaceRef Editor
June 3, 2003
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Preparations for Flight 161 marked another milestone today as the final
integration of Ariane 5’s dual-satellite payload began at the Spaceport in
French Guiana.

The Optus and Defence C1 satellite was installed atop the SYLDA 5
dual-payload deployment system on Saturday, May 31, while the BSAT-2c
spacecraft was integrated atop the Ariane 5 vehicle today.

Our photo report below details the final preparations as the launch campaign
moves ahead on schedule for liftoff on the evening of June 11

The Optus and Defence C1 is lifted by an overhead crane inside the Ariane 5
final assembly building for its installation on the SYLDA 5 dual-payload
deployment system. SYLDA 5 is the black cylinder-shaped structure
illuminated inside the work platform in the background. To its right is the
payload fairing, which is ready to be lowered over the Optus and Defence
C1/SYLDA 5 combination.

The silver-colored pads inside the payload fairing are Helmholtz absorbers
that control the acoustic level under the fairing during liftoff and ascent.
Mitsubishi Electronic Corporation of Japan is the prime contractor for Optus
and Defence C1, and is responsible for all communications systems. Space
Systems/Loral (USA) designed, assembled and integrated the bus and satellite

The bullet-shaped Ariane 5 payload fairing was lowered over the Optus and
Defence C1/SLYDA 5 combination. In the next step, the completed "stack" will
be hoisted to the upper level of the launcher integration building for
installation over the BSAT-2c satellite, which already has been mated atop
the Ariane 5.

BSAT-2c is inspected by launch team members after its installation on Flight
161’s Ariane 5. The BSAT-2c spacecraft is in the lower payload position on
Ariane 5, while the Optus and Defence C1 satellite will ride in the upper
position. During the mission, Optus and Defence C1 will be deployed first,
followed by the separation of SLYDA 5. The BSAT-2C will then be released
from Ariane 5, completing the launcher’s mission. Orbital Sciences
Corporation is the BSAT-2c satellite manufacturer.

SpaceRef staff editor.