Ariane Flight VA226
Arianespace is maintaining its 2015 mission pace as components for another Ariane 5 have arrived in French Guiana – with the latest heavy-lift vehicle scheduled to orbit two telecommunications spacecraft during September: NBN Co 1A for Australia’s National Broadband Network, and ARSAT-2 for Argentinean satellite operator ARSAT.
The launcher elements were delivered this week aboard the MN Toucan, which is one of two roll-on/roll-off sea-going vessels utilized for the transportation of launch vehicle stages from Europe to South America for Arianespace missions. They subsequently were unloaded for transfer by road to the nearby Spaceport.
NBN Co 1A is one of two satellites whose launches are entrusted to Arianespace by the National Broadband Network for high-speed broadband service. They will provide fast internet to up to 200,000 homes, farms and businesses in remote parts of the country at speeds that city residents currently take for granted.
SSL (Space Systems Loral) produced NBN Co 1A using the company’s SSL 1300 platform, with a design service lifetime of 15 years or more.
Joining this satellite on Arianespace’s September dual-payload mission is ARSAT-2, which will provide ARSAT with a wide range of telecommunications, data transmission, Internet and television services – primarily across the Americas, ranging from Argentina to Canada.
Argentine company INVAP was contracted to build ARSAT-2, with Europe’s Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space as leading equipment suppliers. Its “sister” spacecraft, ARSAT-1, was launched by Arianespace in October 2014.
The Ariane 5 launch this September with NBN Co 1A and ARSAT-2 is designated Flight VA226 in Arianespace’s numbering system, signifying the 226th mission with an Ariane vehicle since this family of launchers entered operation in 1979.
Ariane Flight VA226
The build-up of another Ariane 5 began this week in French Guiana, initiating preparations for Arianespace’s fifth heavy-lift flight of 2015 from the Spaceport.
Using the well-established procedures employed since Ariane 5’s introduction in the mid-1990s, the vehicle’s core cryogenic stage was positioned over a mobile launch table inside the Launcher Integration Building. It was followed by rollout of the two solid propellant boosters for mating with the erected core cryogenic stage.
This activity is managed by prime contractor Airbus Safran Launchers, which oversees the build-up process prior to delivering Ariane 5s to Arianespace for payload installation in the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building.
The Ariane 5 will be used in a September mission, carrying a dual-satellite payload of NBN Co 1A for Australia’s National Broadband Network and ARSAT-2 for Argentinean operator ARSAT. Designated Flight VA226 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system, it will be the 226th Ariane mission since this series of vehicles entered operation in 1979.
Getting ready for flight: Preparations with both passengers are ongoing in French Guiana for Arianespace’s 9th mission this year
nbn’s Sky Muster is unloaded from a cargo jetliner after its arrival in French Guiana for the satellite’s transfer by road to the Spaceport.
Ariane Flight VA226
Dual payload preparations are underway for the next Ariane 5 launch, with the arrival of nbn’s Sky Muster at the Spaceport and processing of the ARSAT-2 spacecraft for operator ARSAT in French Guiana.
The two telecommunications satellites are passengers for Arianespace’s upcoming September heavy-lift mission, which will be the company’s fifth Ariane 5 flight this year – and ninth total launch in 2015 with its complete launcher family of Vega, Soyuz and Ariane 5.
Sky Muster: Delivering high-speed broadband for Australia
Sky Muster – a high-performance broadband satellite for Australian operator nbn – was airlifted this week to Félix Eboué Airport near Cayenne, French Guiana aboard a cargo jetliner. After its unloading process, the spacecraft was transferred by road to the Spaceport for pre-launch processing.
Weighing nearly 6,400 kg., the SSL-built (Space Systems Loral) Sky Muster is the first of two satellites for nbn that will help deliver high-speed broadband service to more than 200,000 homes and businesses around Australia – including many in rural and remote areas that do not have access to quality broadband connections.
Sky Muster’s name was chosen by the winner of an Australia-wide picture drawing competition for young school children to illustrate how the new broadband network will make Australia a better country. The winning six-year-old student and her classmates selected the Sky Muster name to refer to the gathering of cattle and how the satellite will help “round-up” and connect Australians together.
ARSAT-2: guaranteeing connectivity in Argentina
In parallel activity this week, initial checkout with ARSAT-2 – including a routine “fit check” with the adapter that will serve as its interface with Ariane 5 – has begun inside the S5 payload preparation facility at the Spaceport, following the satellite’s arrival in French Guiana earlier this month.
To be operated under the responsibility of ARSAT, ARSAT-2 is the second of three geostationary satellites that will increase Argentina’s telecommunications capacity and guarantee the same level of connectivity quality to all of the country’s regions. Arianespace successfully orbited the first of these relay platforms, ARSAT-1, on Ariane 5 Flight VA220 in October 2014.
The ARSAT series of spacecraft is produced by Argentina’s INVAP, with Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space serving as leading equipment suppliers.
Supporting a busy mission cadence
The arrival and processing of Sky Muster and ARSAT-2 at the Spaceport are part of Arianespace’s busy operational pace in 2015, which includes successful launches of four Ariane 5s, two Vegas and one Soyuz vehicle to date this year, as well as ongoing payload and launcher preparation activity for three upcoming missions: Soyuz Flight VS12, Ariane 5 Flight VA226 and Vega Flight VV06.
Inside the S5 payload preparation facility, Flight VA226 co-passenger ARSAT-2 is undergoing the fit check process – an important step in all Arianespace Ariane 5 missions to confirm the spacecraft’s compatibility with the adapter that will be used for its integration on the heavy-lift launcher.
Ariane Flight VA226
Arianespace remains on track for a record number of launches at the Spaceport in 2015, as underscored by the busy week of preparations for Ariane 5’s next heavy-lift mission – which were performed in parallel to yesterday’s successful flight of its medium-lift Soyuz from French Guiana.
The upcoming Ariane 5 launch is scheduled for September 30 to orbit a pair of telecommunications satellites: Sky Muster for Australian operator nbn and ARSAT-2 for Argentina’s ARSAT.
During activity of the past several days, Flight VA226’s Ariane 5 was transferred from the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building (where it was integrated by prime contractor Airbus Safran Launchers) to the Final Assembly Building for installation of Sky Muster and ARSAT-2 under Arianespace responsibility.
Pre-launch checkout continues with ARSAT-2 and Sky Muster
Separately, ARSAT-2 was fueled in the Spaceport’s S5 payload preparation center, while pre-launch checkout of Sky Muster continued in a separate area of the same multi-hall facility.
Sky Muster is a high-performance broadband satellite, and will be riding in the upper passenger position of Ariane 5’s dual-payload arrangement. This SSL-built (Space Systems Loral) relay platform will weigh in at nearly 6,400 kg., and is the first of two satellites for nbn that will help deliver high-speed broadband service to more than 200,000 homes and businesses around Australia – including many in rural and remote areas that do not have access to quality broadband connections.
ARSAT-2 is the second of three geostationary satellites that will increase Argentina’s telecommunications capacity and guarantee the same level of connectivity quality across the country’s regions. Arianespace successfully orbited the first of these relay platforms, ARSAT-1, on Ariane 5 Flight VA220 in October 2014.
The ARSAT series of spacecraft is produced by Argentina’s INVAP, with Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space serving as leading equipment suppliers. The satellites’ operation is under the responsibility of ARSAT, which has a strategic role in implementing governmental policies in Argentinian telecommunications, broadcasting and Internet – as well as to increase broadcasting, telecommunications and satellite-based services for commercial, public, private and government-run applications.
Arianespace’s 2015 target: 12 missions with its launcher family
Flight VA226 with Sky Muster and ARSAT-2 will be the ninth of 12 Arianespace missions targeted during 2015. Such a sustained cadence is possible because of a robust launcher family – composed of Ariane 5, Soyuz and the lightweight Vega – along with the Spaceport’s capability to have multiple missions being prepared in parallel.
The flights performed so far in 2015 have utilized four Ariane 5s, two Soyuz vehicles (including last night’s mission), and two Vega launchers.
Assembly is completed for the Ariane 5 to orbit Sky Muster and ARSAT-2 on September 30
Ariane Flight VA226
The Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s ninth mission of 2015 is now fully assembled, following the integration of its two telecommunications satellites at the Spaceport in French Guiana.
During activity in Ariane 5’s Final Assembly Building, the upper payload component – containing Australia’s Sky Muster spacecraft mounted on the SYLDA dispenser system, and protected by an ogive-shaped fairing – was lowered into position over the Argentinian ARSAT-2 relay platform, which was previously installed atop the launcher’s central core.
This step clears the way for final checkout, which will enable the Launch Readiness Review to be conducted on September 28, followed by Ariane 5’s rollout to the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone the following day, and an evening liftoff on September 30.
To be deployed first during the 32-minute mission is Sky Muster, which will be operated by nbn™ – a service provider owned by the Commonwealth of Australia. This company’s objective is to ensure all Australians have access to fast broadband as soon as possible, at affordable prices and at the least cost to taxpayers.
Sky Muster is the initial satellite to be orbited by Arianespace for nbn, and the spacecraft was built by SSL (Space Systems Loral). With an estimated liftoff mass of 6,440 kg., the relay platform is designed to deliver broadband services from geostationary orbit to more than 200,000 rural and remote Australians, providing coverage across the entire country, including the Norfolk, Christmas, Macquarie and Cocos islands.
A second nbn satellite will be launched on a future Arianespace mission.
ARSAT-2 is installed in the lower payload position on Ariane 5, and will be released as the mission’s second passenger in the flight sequence. With a liftoff mass of approximately 2,975 kg., this satellite was built under the responsibility Argentina’s INVAP and will be operated by the state-owned Argentinian operator ARSAT to provide direct-to-home television (DTH), Internet access services for reception on VSAT antennas, along with data transmission and IP telephony.
Arianespace launched the predecessor ARSAT-1 satellite on an Ariane 5 in October 2014.
Arianespace’s September 30 mission with Sky Muster and ARSAT-2 will maintain the company’s fast-paced 2015 launch schedule, which forsees a total of 12 missions this year using its complete launcher family: the heavy-lift Ariane 5, medium-lift Soyuz and lightweight Vega.
The upper payload component – containing Australia’s Sky Muster spacecraft mounted on the SYLDA dispenser system, both of which are enclosed in an ogive-shaped fairing – is lowered over the ARSAT-2 satellite for Argentina, which is installed atop Ariane 5’s central core.
Ariane Flight VA226
Arianespace’s dual-payload mission with telecommunications satellites to serve Australia and Argentina has been approved for liftoff on Wednesday at the Spaceport, providing the go-ahead for its fifth heavy-lift flight in 2015 and the ninth overall from French Guiana this year using the company’s complete launcher family.
The September 30 liftoff was authorized at completion of today’s launch readiness review, which confirmed the status of Ariane 5, its Sky Muster and ARSAT-2 spacecraft passengers, the Spaceport’s infrastructure, and a network of ground stations that will track the launcher’s trajectory.
With the go-ahead, Ariane 5 will be transferred tomorrow from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone, where the vehicle will be positioned for liftoff on September 30 during a launch window that opens at 5:30 p.m. and continues until 7:15 p.m. (local time in French Guiana).
The mission is designated Flight VA226 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system, notating the 226th Ariane launch since this series of European-built vehicles began operation in 1979. Wednesday’s mission will be the 82nd launch of an Ariane 5 from French Guiana, where the vehicle is operated alongside Arianespace’s medium-lift Soyuz and lightweight Vega.
Satellite team members put a “finishing touch” on Ariane 5
As part of Flight VA226’s final activity, members of the Sky Muster and ARSAT-2 teams signed spacecraft logos that are affixed to Ariane 5’s protective payload fairing. This step “personalized” the launcher in recognition of the efforts that have prepared these two payloads for the ride into orbit and their subsequent service startup.
Located in Ariane 5’s upper passenger position is Sky Muster, which will deliver broadband services from geostationary orbit to more than 200,000 rural and remote Australians, providing coverage across the country – including the Norfolk, Christmas, Macquarie and Cocos islands.
As the initial satellite to be orbited by Arianespace for nbnTM, Sky Muster has an estimated liftoff mass of 6,440 kg. and was built by SSL (Space Systems Loral). nbn is owned by the Commonwealth of Australia and the company’s objective is to ensure all Australians have access to fast broadband as soon as possible, at affordable prices and at the least cost to taxpayers.
ARSAT-2 is installed in the lower payload position on Ariane 5. This satellite was built under the responsibility Argentina’s INVAP and will be operated by the state-owned Argentinian operator ARSAT to provide direct-to-home television (DTH), Internet access services for reception on VSAT antennas, along with data transmission and IP telephony. It has a liftoff mass of approximately 2,975 kg.
Ariane 5 rolls out for Arianespace’s launch tomorrow; two other missions are in preparation with Ariane 5 and Vega
Flight VA226’s Ariane 5 nears the ELA-3 launch pad during today’s rollout at the Spaceport in French Guiana.
Ariane Flight VA226
Mission activity is in full swing at the Spaceport to support Arianespace’s busy 2015 launch manifest – with the latest completed Ariane 5 rolling out for a liftoff tomorrow from French Guiana, and parallel preparations underway for two more flights involving another heavy-lift Ariane 5 and a lightweight Vega.
The Ariane 5 that was transferred today from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building to the facility’s ELA-3 launch zone is now ready for final countdown to the September 30 evening liftoff. It is carrying the Sky Muster and ARSAT-2 telecommunications satellites for Australia and Argentina, respectively.
This mission is designated Flight VA226 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system, and will be the fifth Ariane 5 launch of 2015. Its total lift performance is set at more than 10,200 kg., which includes approximately 6,440 kg. for Sky Muster, the estimated 2,977 kg. mass of ARSAT-2, and the hardware for Ariane 5’s SYLDA dispenser system that accommodates the dual payload.
Update: Launch VA-226
Flight VA226 success: with Sky Muster and ARSAT-2 in orbit, Arianespace serves Australia and Argentina
Arianespace successfully launched two satellites this evening: Sky Muster for the Australian operator nbn (National Broadband Network) and ARSAT-2 for the Argentine operator ARSAT.
Today's launch was the ninth of the year in nine months, a record for the Arianespace launcher family, and the fifth of the year and 68th successful launch in a row for the Ariane 5 heavy launcher. It lifted off at 5:30 p.m. local time from the Guiana Space Center (CSG) in Kourou, French Guiana.
Arianespace is proud of its role in providing sustained support for these two new regional operators, based in two great southern hemisphere nations, whose primary goal is to deliver the benefits of space to all of their citizens.
Arianespace and nbn team up to reduce the digital divide in Australia
Arianespace is especially proud of being chosen to launch the Australian operator nbn's first satellite.
Sky Muster will help reduce the digital divide on this nation-continent, by guaranteeing high-speed Internet access to more than 200,000 Australians living in rural and isolated areas of the country. It will cover the entire country, including Norfolk, Christmas, Macquarie and Cocos islands.
Sky Muster is the 52nd geostationary platform built by SSL (and predecessors) to be orbited by Arianespace, which has 13 more satellites from this manufacturer in its launch manifest.
Arianespace and ARSAT: a fruitful partnership to consolidate and develop Argentina's satellite communications infrastructure
ARSAT-2 is the second satellite for the state-owned telecommunications company, ARSAT, and will enable Argentina to further develop and consolidate its own space telecom system. ARSAT-2 will cover the Americas, providing direct-to-home (DTH) TV transmissions, Internet access via VSAT antennas, data transmission and IP telephony services.
ARSAT-2 is the second geostationary satellite to be built and operated by Argentina. The company INVAP was in charge of its design and integration, as well as the production of certain components.
Using space to improve life on Earth
With the launch of these two strategic satellites for two great nations from the southern hemisphere, Australia and Argentina, Arianespace confirms its goal of providing its customers with the best possible transport solutions to help space-based systems improve life on Earth.
Shortly after the announcement that the two satellites had been injected into orbit, Arianespace Chairman and CEO Stéphane Israël said: "We are especially proud of our mission success this evening for two regional operators in the southern hemisphere, nbn and ARSAT, and we have already established real partnerships with both customers. With 400 satellites launched since its beginning, the Ariane family can celebrate a real ‘Triple A’ achievement this evening for Australia, Argentina and Arianespace. Thanks go to our clients for their confidence, and bravo to SSL and INVAP for their contributions to this success.
"This evening also marks the ninth launch in nine months for our family of launchers, in line with our goal of carrying out 12 launches in 2015. I would like to thank all our partners who have contributed to this 68th consecutive successful launch of Ariane 5: ESA, responsible for the Ariane program; all European companies who contribute to Ariane under the direction of industrial prime contractor Airbus Safran Launchers; CNES-CSG and companies at the launch base; and of course the men and women of Arianespace, who continue to demonstrate their commitment and professionalism."