Satnews Daily
December 31st, -0001

Arianespace Accepts Ariane 5 For August Launch

The fifth Ariane 5 of 2008 is now under Arianespace’s responsibility for payload integration and launch following the launch vehicle's delivery by industrial prime contractor Astrium at the Spaceport in French Guiana. Handover of this heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA occurred with the vehicle’s transfer on Saturday from the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building (where it was assembled by Astrium), to the Final Assembly Building, where Arianespace will oversee installation of the AMC-21 and Superbird 7 telecommunications satellites. These payloads have completed their fueling. Liftoff of the mission is planned for August 12.

Ariane 5 ECA for 081208 mission

Arianespace is maintaining its accelerated Ariane 5 mission pace, with a total of seven flights planned in 2008, making it the busiest year of activity since the launcher’s commercial introduction in 1999. The previous on-target missions of 2008 were: the July 7 Ariane 5 ECA flight with ProtoStar I and BADR-6; June 12’s launch with Skynet 5C and Turksat 3A aboard an Ariane 5 ECA; the April 18 success with Star One C2 and VINASAT-1, also with an Ariane 5 ECA; and the milestone March 9 flight of an Ariane 5 ES version with Europe's Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) for the International Space Station.