Arianespace’s continued push to dominate the launch service industry has taken another step forward on Thursday, with the dual payload launch of their Ariane 5 ECA vehicle – carrying Superbird-7 and AMC-21 from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
NASASpaceflight.com is covering the launch as a live event, with background, live updates and images, plus a free launch video – all available now on the links below (read more).
**Ariane 5 ECA/AMC-21/Superbird-7Â – Live Update Pages**
**FREE Ariane 5 ECA/AMC-21/Superbird-7 Launch Video** – available now.
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For this latest missionÂ – the 41st for an Ariane 5Â – the launcher’s heavy-lift performance will be approximately 8,100 kg.Â – which includes more than 7,270 kg. for its two satellite payloads, along with their integration hardware and the SYLDA 5 multiple satellite dispenser system.
In addition to providing comprehensive service over the 50 U.S. states, AMC-21 also will offer high-power coverage for the Gulf of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
After its launch by Ariane 5, AMC-21 will be positioned at 125 deg. West for a design operational lifetime of 15 years.
Arianespace has served the launch needs of SES and its predecessor companies for nearly 25 years, beginning with the Spacenet 1 satellite â€“ which was orbited on the first ever Arianespace mission in May, 1984.
This first ‘made in Japan’ commercial satellite for a Japanese telecommunications operator has completed its fueling process, and is now installed on the cone-shaped adapter that serves as the interface with its Ariane 5 ECA.
Superbird 7 will be orbited along with SES AMERICOM’s AMC-21 satellite on the fifth Ariane 5 mission of 2008.Â Built by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation on the companyâ€™s DS2000 spacecraft bus, Superbird 7 carries a Ku-band relay payload and will be positioned at an orbital slot of 144 degrees East.
It will be the successor to Space Communications Corporation’s current Superbird-C satellite, and is to provide a wide range of telecommunications services for the Tokyo-based operator with the spacecraftâ€™s enhanced performance.
Re-live the launch updates on the live event pages, linked above.