Launches

By | December 17, 2007 | Satellite News Feed

Ariane 5 To Launch Comms Satellite For Hispasat In Summer 2009

An Ariane 5 rocket will orbit the Amazonas-2 communications satellite for Hispasat in the summer of 2009, Arianespace announced.

This was the 13th launch contract that Arianespace gained this year.

The satellite will be launched from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, South America.

Astrium will construct the Amazonas-2 satellite using a Eurostar E3000 platform. It will weigh about 5,400 kilograms at launch.

Fitted with 54 Ku-band transponders and 10 C-band transponders, Amazonas-2 will provide a wide range of communications services for Brazil, as well as North and South America in general. It has a design life of 15 years and will be positioned in geostationary orbit at 61 degrees West.

Amazonas-2 will be the fifth Spanish satellite launched by Arianespace. The European launcher had already orbited the Hispasat 1A and 1B satellites in 1992 and 1993 respectively. In 2005 and 2006, Arianespace has also launched XTAR-Eur and Spainsat.

Soyuz Boosts Radarsat-2 Satellite Into Orbit

A Russian Soyuz vehicle lifted the Radarsat-2 satellite into orbit, Arianespace announced.

A Starsem flight, the Soyuz blasted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Radarsat-2 was deployed in a sun-synchronous orbit 53 minutes later.

The medium-lift Soyuz is a member of the Arianespace launcher family, and it will join its heavy-lift Ariane 5 in operations from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, South America, beginning in 2009.

Radarsat-2 is a commercial C-band synthetic aperture radar satellite, and its missions include marine surveillance, ice monitoring, disaster management, environmental monitoring, resource management and mapping in Canada and around the world.

The 2,200-kilogram spacecraft is a follow-on to Radarsat-1 that was launched in 1995.

Development of Radarsat-2 was handled in a government/industry collaboration of the Canadian Space Agency and MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd., which will operate the satellite and ground segment, while the Canadian Space Agency contributed funds to build and launch the satellite.

ULA Atlas V Launches National Reconnaissance Satellite

An Atlas V rocket launched a satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office last week, United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced.

ULA is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT] and The Boeing Co. [BA].

The Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., liftoff, the fourth Atlas V EELV mission this year and the 12th ULA mission this year, rose from Space Launch Complex 41.

This mission, designated AV-015, was launched aboard an Atlas V 401 configuration and used a single common core booster powered by the RD-180 engine.

This Atlas V flight marked the 208th RD-180 firing. Atlas V has 11 previous successful launches including two missions for NASA, one for the NRO, two for the Air Force, and six for commercial customers.

Upcoming Launches

The next ULA launch, currently scheduled for Thursday, is the GPS IIR-18 satellite for the Air Force aboard a Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex 17A at Cape Canaveral.

ULA program management, engineering, test and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo., supported by transition employees in Huntington Beach, Calif. Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Decatur, Ala., Harlingen, Texas, San Diego, Calif., and Denver, Colo. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral and at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

Launch Schedule

2008 Launches

Date: Jan. 10 +

Mission: STS-122

Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Atlantis

Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center – Launch Pad 39A

Description: STS-122 will deliver the Columbus European Laboratory Module and will be the twenty-fourth mission to the International Space Station.

Date: February 14 +

Mission: STS-123

Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Endeavour

Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center – Launch Pad 39A

Launch Time: 11:57 a.m. EST

Description: Mission STS-123 on Space Shuttle Endeavour will deliver the pressurized section of the Kibo Japanese Experiment Logistics Module (ELM-PS) on the twenty-fifth mission to the International Space Station.

Date: April 1 *

Mission: STSS Demo – Missile Defense Agency

Launch Vehicle: United Launch Alliance Delta II

Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station – Launch Complex 17, Pad A

Description: STSS Demo is a midcourse tracking technology demonstrator and is part of an evolving ballistic missile defense system. STSS is capable of tracking objects after boost phase and provides trajectory information to other sensors and interceptors. To be launched by NASA for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

Date: April 17 *

Mission: STSS ATRR – Missile Defense Agency

Launch Vehicle: United Launch Alliance Delta II

Launch Site: Vandenberg Air Force Base – Launch Pad SLC-2

Description: STSS ATRR serves as a pathfinder for future launch and mission technology for the Missile Defense Agency. To be launched by NASA for the MDA.

Date: April 24 +

Mission: STS-124

Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Discovery

Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center – Launch Pad 39A

Launch Time: 8:26 a.m. EDT

Description: Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-124 will transport the Kibo Japanese Experiment Module – Pressurized Module (JEM-PM) and the Japanese Remote Manipulator System (JEM-RMS) to the International Space Station.

Date: May 16

Mission: GLAST

Launch Vehicle: United Launch Alliance Delta II

Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station – Launch Complex 17 – Pad 17-B

Description: An heir to its successful predecessor — the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory — the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope will have the ability to detect gamma rays in a range of energies from thousands to hundreds of billions of times more energetic than the light visible to the human eye. Radiation of such magnitude can only be generated under the most extreme conditions, thus GLAST will focus on studying the most energetic objects and phenomena in the universe.

Date: June 15

Mission: OSTM/Jason 2

Launch Vehicle: United Launch Alliance Delta II

Launch Site: Vandenberg Air Force Base – Launch Pad SLC-2

Description: The Ocean Surface Topography Mission on the Jason-2 satellite will be a follow-on to the Jason mission.

Date: June 25 +

Mission: TacSat-3

Launch Vehicle: Orbital Sciences Minotaur Rocket

Launch Site: Wallops Flight Facility – Goddard Space Flight Center

Description: NASA will support the Air Force launch of the TacSat-3 satellite, managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Vehicles Directorate. TacSat-3 will demonstrate the capability to furnish real-time data to the combatant commander. NASA Ames will fly a microsat and NASA Wallops will fly the CubeSats on this flight in addition to providing the launch range.

Date: July 15

Mission: IBEX

Launch Vehicle: Orbital Sciences Pegasus XL Rocket

Launch Site: Reagan Test Site, Kwajalein Atoll

Description: IBEX’s science objective is to discover the global interaction between the solar wind and the interstellar medium and will achieve this objective by taking a set of global energetic neutral atom images that will answer four fundamental science questions.

Date: July 20 *

Mission: GOES-O

Launch Vehicle: United Launch Alliance Delta IV

Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station – Launch Complex 17

Description: NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are actively engaged in a cooperative program, the multimission Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite series N-P. This series will be a vital contributor to weather, solar and space operations, and science.

Date: Aug. 7 *

Mission: STS-125

Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Atlantis

Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center – Launch Pad 39A

Launch Time: 8:24 a.m. EDT

Description: Space Shuttle Atlantis will fly seven astronauts into space for the fifth and final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. During the 11-day flight, the crew will repair and improve the observatory’s capabilities through 2013.

Date: Sept. 18 +

Mission: STS-126

Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Endeavour

Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center – Launch Pad 39A

Launch Time: 8:08 p.m. EDT

Description: Space Shuttle Endeavour launching on assembly flight ULF2, will deliver a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module to the International Space Station.

Date: Oct. 28

Mission: LRO/LCROSS

Launch Vehicle: United Launch Alliance Atlas V

Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station – Launch Complex 41

Description: The mission objectives of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite are to advance the Vision for Space Exploration by confirming the presence or absence of water ice in a permanently shadowed crater at either the Moon’s North or South Pole.

Date: Dec 1 *

Mission: SDO

Launch Vehicle: United Launch Alliance Atlas V

Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station – Launch Complex 41

Description: The first Space Weather Research Network mission in the Living With a Star (LWS) Program of NASA.

Date: Dec 15

Mission: OCO

Launch Vehicle: Orbital Sciences Taurus Rocket

Launch Site: Vandenberg Air Force Base – Launch Pad SLC 576-E

Description: The Orbiting Carbon Observatory is a new Earth orbiting mission sponsored by NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder Program.

2009 Launches

Date: Feb. 16

Mission: Kepler

Launch Vehicle: United Launch Alliance Delta II

Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station – Launch Complex 17 – Pad 17-B

Description: The Kepler Mission, a NASA Discovery mission, is specifically designed to survey our region of the Milky Way galaxy to detect and characterize hundreds of Earth- size and smaller planets in or near the habitable zone.

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