Launches

By | January 28, 2008 | Satellite News Feed

Arianespace To Launch Satellite For UAE In 2010

UAE Firm Chooses Arianespace To Launch An Astrium-Thales Satellite

Al Yah Satellite Communications Co. PrJsc, or Yahsat, a United Arab Emirates firm, chose Arianespace to launch the Yahsat 1A communications satellite built by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space, according to Arianespace.

The deal was signed by top officials of Yahsat and Arianespace in Abu Dhabi, as French President Nicolas Sarkozy made an official visit to the UAE.

Yahsat 1A will be lofted into orbit by an Ariane 5 rocket in 2010 from the Guiana Space Center, the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, South America.

The satellite will provide services for both government and commercial customers in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Southwest Asia.

Offering broadband terrestrial coverage, Yahsat 1A will be positioned at 52.5 degrees East. It will provide innovative solutions for Internet links via satellite, business data networks and television transmission services, in particular for high-definition television (HDTV). Yahsat 1A offers a design life of approximately 15 years, according to Arianespace.

European Cargo Spaceship Readied For Launch Next Month

The first European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) is moving closer to its launch in the second half of February, and the basic buildup of the Ariane 5 rocket has been completed, Arianespace announced.

Those preparations are proceeding at the European spaceport in French Guiana, South America.

Teams from prime contractor Astrium Space Transportation fitted the Ariane 5 ES with its vehicle equipment bay and EPS upper stage in the Launcher Integration Building.

Once those units are installed and validated, Ariane 5 will be ready for transfer to the Final Integration Building, where Astrium will deliver it to Arianespace for installation of the ATV payload.

The European ATV is a key re-supply spacecraft for the International Space Station, carrying equipment, systems, food, water, and propellant. Launch of the No. 1 ATV, named "Jules Verne" in honor of the visionary 19th century French science fiction writer, will involve a liftoff mass of 19.4 metric tons.

As the Ariane 5 ES is readied for delivery to Arianespace, the ATV is undergoing its fueling process at the S5 payload preparation facility. Fueling began Jan. 8 and will continue through early February.

The Ariane 5 ES mission with ATV is Arianespace’s first this year. A total of seven to eight flights are planned this year using the workhorse launcher.

NASA Faces Busy Times With Spacewalk, Shuttle Work

NASA is facing busy times, with a spacewalk by the International Space Station (ISS) crew and further work toward the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis next week.

First, on Wednesday, ISS Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Dan Tani will venture outside the space station, in a spacewalk where they will replace a motor that enables one of the station’s solar arrays to pivot toward the sun. The motor experienced electrical failures last month.

That same day, space shuttle leaders will meet to mull the long-delayed Atlantis liftoff now set for Thursday next week, a flight that originally was set for Dec. 6. Glitches in external fuel tank fuel gauge sensor data lines forced repeated delays in the launch of Atlantis on the STS-122 Mission. Those leaders are expected to brief journalists after the meeting.

Because of those delays, Tani has been stuck aboard the space station, even though his mother died while he was in orbit.

Atlantis is to take the European Columbus laboratory module, a room-sized affair, into orbit for attachment to the steadily growing space station, and the shuttle also will provide, at last, a ride home for Tani.

The following day, on Thursday this week, officials from NASA and the European Space Agency will preview the maiden launch and docking of the new European "Jules Verne" Automated Transfer Vehicle. The ATV is an unmanned cargo ship for the space station. It is scheduled to lift off on an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana, South America, no earlier than Feb. 22.

The Jan. 31 briefing will follow an ATV readiness review by officials gathered at Johnson Space Center in Houston. The ATV will augment the Russian Progress ships that deliver supplies to the space station.

These events will be aired on NASA TV.

Monday, Jan. 28:

1 p.m. Spacewalk preview briefing

Kirk Shireman, International Space Station deputy program manager

Holly Ridings, Expedition 16 lead flight director

Kieth Johnson, International Space Station spacewalk officer

Wednesday, Jan. 30:

3 a.m. Expedition 16 spacewalk coverage begins

1 p.m. Post-spacewalk briefing

Kwatsi Alibaruho, International Space Station flight director

Kieth Johnson, International Space Station spacewalk officer

2 p.m. Space shuttle status briefing

Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for Space Operations

Wayne Hale, Space Shuttle Program manager

Thursday, Jan. 31:

3 p.m. Automated Transfer Vehicle preflight briefing

Mike Suffredini, International Space Station Program manager

Alan Thirkettle, ESA International Space Station Program manager

John Ellwood, ESA ATV mission manager

Bob Chesson, head, ESA Human Spaceflight and Exploration Operations

Russia Launches Communications Satellite With Proton-M At Baikonur

Russia launched a communications satellite today from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with a Proton-M rocket, according to RIA Novosti news service.

The Express-AM33 satellite would provide TV and satellite communications across the immense width of Russia.

That satellite was designed by the Reshetnev Applied Mechanics Science and Production Association.

Launch Schedule

2008 Launches

Date: Feb. 7 +

Mission: STS-122

Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Atlantis

Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center – Launch Pad 39A

Launch Time: 2:45 p.m. EST

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

Date: March 11 +

Mission: STS-123

Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Endeavour

Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center – Launch Pad 39A

Launch Time: 2:31 a.m. EDT

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 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

Launch Window: 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. EDT

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.

Date: March 1

Mission: Glory

Launch Vehicle: Orbital Sciences Taurus Rocket

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

Description: The Glory Mission will help increase our understanding of the Earth’s energy balance by collecting data on the properties of aerosols and black carbon in the Earth’s atmosphere and how the Sun’s irradiance affects the Earth’s climate.

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