Lifting off on time at 6:51 p.m. from the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone in French Guiana, the Ariane 5 deployed its W3B and BSAT-3b passengers during a flight lasting just under 38 minutes. The launcher’s payload lift performance was approximately 8,260 kg., which included a combined 7,460 kg. mass for the two satellites, along with Ariane 5’s SYLDA 5 multi-payload dispenser system and associated integration hardware. Ariane 5 delivered another highly accurate performance in tonight’s mission, with the following provisional orbital parameters at the injection of its cryogenic upper stage:
- Perigee: 249.2 km. for a target of 249.3 km.
- Apogee: 35,907 km. for a target of 35,911 km.
- Inclination: 2.00 deg. for a target of 2.00 deg.
The BSAT-3b satellite launched by Arianespace today was lofted for Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems on behalf of Japan’s B-SAT Corporation. This was the seventh B-SAT spacecraft orbited by Arianespace. Manufactured using Lockheed Martin’s A2100 A platform, the 2,060-kg. relay satellite is fitted with 12 130-watt Ku-band channels — with eight operating at a time. B-SAT will deliver direct-to-home television programming to Japan during its planned 15-year-plus lifetime.
The next Ariane 5 mission is set for November 25 with another heavy-lift launch, carrying the Intelsat 17 and HYLAS 1 satellites. It will be followed by one additional mission of this workhorse vehicle before the end of 2010.