Arianespace Launches Fifth Successful Mission of 2008
[Satellite Today 08-15-08] Arianespace launched its fifth successful Ariane 5 mission of the year on Aug. 14 from Kourou, French Guiana. This is Arianespace’s third launch in a two-month time span and 27th successful mission in a row.
Liftoff took place at 5:44 p.m. local time in Kourou (4:44 p.m. in U.S. EST).
The rocket carried a payload of two U.S. and Japanese television broadcasting satellites – the AMC-21, built by Thales Alenia Space for the SES group and the Superbird-7 for Japanese operator Space Communications Corporation (SCC), the second satellite built by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO) to be launched by Ariane 5.
Superbird-7 is fitted with 28 Ku-band transponders, and is designed to provide mobile, cable TV and direct TV broadcast services for Japan and telecommunications services for the entire Asia-Pacific region. The satellite will be positioned at 144° East and will succeed SCC’s current Superbird-C satellite.
AMC-21, which uses a Star-2 platform from Orbital Sciences Corporation, is fitted with 24 high-power Ku-band transponders and offers a minimum design life of 15 years. The satellite will provide cable TV distribution and business services in the United States, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America from its orbital position at 125° West. AMC-21 is the 30th satellite launched by Arianespace for the SES group.
Superbird-7 was released first during the half-hour mission – separating 26 minutes into flight. AMC-21 deployed second from the launcher’s lower payload position 30 minutes after liftoff.