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Next Ariane 5 Launch Taking Shape

The Ariane 5 ECA's cryogenic core stage is ready to be positioned over the mobile launch table inside the Spaceport's assembly building. Image credit: Arianespace
by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) Mar 27, 2006
Arianespace said Monday it has begun preparations for the second duel-satellite launch of its heavylift Ariane 5 ECA rocket in mid-May. The company began prepping for the launch - which will carry the Satmex 6 and THAICOM telecommunications satellites - by positioning Ariane 5's core crygenic stage over the mobile launch table.

The activity took place within the Launch Integration Building, where the rocket's assembly will continue with the mating of its two solid boosters to the cryogenic stage.

The mission will be Arianespace's second launch in 2006, following the March 11 liftoff that place SPAINSAT and HOT BIRD 7A telecom platforms into geostationary transfer orbits.Satmex 6 will be operated by Satmex (Satelites Mexicanos, S.A. de C.V.), a leading satellite services provider in Latin America.

Satmex 6 will be one of the most powerful telecom satellites ever built for coverage over the Americas, with its C-band and Ku-band footprint reaching from the northern United States to southern Argentina.

THAICOM 5 will provide telecom and television services throughout the Asia/Pacific region, and will join the satellite fleet operated by Shin Satellite Inc., eventually replacing the company's older THAICOM 1 and 2 relay platforms.

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ATK Rocket Motors Power Successful Launch of Pegasus XL
Minneapolis MN (SPX) Mar 24, 2006
Alliant Techsystems solid propulsion and composite technologies supported the successful launch today of an air-launched Pegasus XL rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The rocket carried three microsatellites comprising NASA's Space Technology No. 5 (ST-5) mission into orbit.

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