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By | September 17, 2007

      Arianespace To Launch Four Satellites For Astrium

      Astrium selected Arianespace to launch four satellites of the space segment of the ELISA demonstrator, Arianespace announced..

      The satellites will be placed in heliosynchronous orbit by a Soyuz rocket to be launched from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.

      They will be auxiliary passengers on the launch of the first Pl�iades satellite in late 2009.

      Astrium is lead manager for the program, working with co-contractor Thales for French MoD procurement agency DGA. Astrium is prime contractor for the demonstration program, which comprises four satellites, each weighing about 135 kg. The satellites are built on a Myriade platform designed by French space agency CNES.

      The program is being overseen by a joint DGA-CNES project management team.

      ELISA (ELectronic Intelligence by SAtellite) satellites will use radar transmitters to map the entire globe, with precise feature definition. They are a first step towards the future ROEM (Renseignement d’Origine ElectroMagn�tique) electromagnetic reconnaissance program.

      Arianespace already placed the Cerise, Cl�mentine and ESSAIM satellites in orbit for the DGA defense procurement agency. This ongoing partnership enables the French Ministry of Defense to validate innovative satellite concepts using actual spacecraft in orbit, according to Arianespace.

      Soyuz Lifts Foton-3 Satellite Into Orbit

      A Soyuz launch vehicle lifted a Foton-M3 spacecraft into orbit after blasting off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Starsem announced.

      Starsem, Arianespace and their Russian partners participated in orbiting the bird, which is carrying a payload with European scientific experiments.

      This was the seventh Soyuz family mission this year.

      Starsem is planning several further missions in the coming months, including another launch for Globalstar LLC, the launch of the Radarsat-2 observation satellite and the launch of the Giove-B satellite.

      Soyuz is a medium-class launch vehicle, while the Ariane 5 is the heavy lift rocket and the Vega is the lightweight lifter operating from the Guiana Space Center (CSG).

      Shareholders in Starsem are Arianespace, Astrium, the Russian Federal Space Agency and the Samara Space Center.

      The Starsem manifest for Soyuz missions currently includes contracted launches for the European Space Agency, MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd, Globalstar and Eumetsat.

      Intelsat Satellite Fueled, Poised For Ariane 5 Liftoff

      The Intelsat 11 telecommunications satellite was fueled at the spaceport in French Guiana as payload preparations continue apace for an upcoming dual-passenger Ariane 5 mission, Arianespace announced.

      Intelsat 11 was topped off in the S5A high-bay of the S5 payload preparation building. This Orbital Sciences Corp. [ORB]-built satellite has a liquid bi- propellant transfer orbit system and a hydrazine monopropellant on-orbit system.

      Intelsat 11 will be launched at the end of the month by an Ariane 5 GS vehicle, with another Orbital-manufactured spacecraft, Optus D2, as its co-passenger.

      Once in orbit, Intelsat 11 will provide direct-to-home broadcasting and data networking services for Intelsat.

      Its C-band payload will serve the continental United States, Mexico and South America, and a Ku-band payload will service the DirecTV Latin America downlink coverage area of Brazil. The Ku-band payload also will have uplink capability from the continental United States, Mexico, Europe, and Northwest and Southeast South America.

      The Ariane 5 mission will be the fourth for Arianespace this year with the workhorse launcher. A total of six flights are slated this year as Arianespace builds up the Ariane 5 launch pace.

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