Skynet 5C Satellite Set For Launch
[Satellite Today – 5-28-08] The third Skynet 5 satellite is likely to be launched in the next couple of days, Astrium announced May 28. Skynet 5 is the next generation military satellite communications program for the U.K. Ministry of Defence. The Skynet 5C satellite is scheduled for launch from Kourou, French Guiana on May 30 on an Ariane 5.
The Skynet 5A satellite entered service in April 2007, followed by Skynet 5B in January. The Skynet 5 satellites are based on Astrium’s Eurostar E3000 satellite platform with a 34m solar array span and a launch mass of 4.63 tonnes. Skynet 5C will be positioned at 17.8° West.
Astrium plays a varied role on the Skynet 5 program. It is responsible for the service provision through its company Paradigm, and is also the prime contractor on the launcher Ariane 5 and prime contractor for the satellites and associated ground segment.
Secure communications services are being delivered by the owner and operator, Paradigm, part of Astrium Services, with the system, including the satellites, designed and built by Astrium Satellites. Astrium Space Transportation is prime contractor on Ariane 5.