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Spainsat Arrives At The Spaceport For Ariane 5 Dual-Passenger Mission

Technicians inspect Spainsat in the horizontal position after its arrival in the S5 satellite preparation facility. Photo courtesy: Arianespace.
by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) Feb 03, 2006
Both payloads for Arianespace's upcoming heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA mission are now undergoing processing at the Spaceport, following the arrival of Hisdesat's Spainsat satellite in French Guiana.

Spainsat touched down at Cayenne's Rochambeau International Airport on January 24, aboard an Antonov AN-124 cargo aircraft, and the spacecraft was transported by road to the Spaceport.

After its transfer into the S5 satellite preparation facility, Spainsat was removed from the environmentally-controlled shipping container and underwent an initial checkout.

On January 25, a fit-check was made with the cone-shaped adapter that will serve as the interface between Spainsat and the Ariane 5 launcher.

The X-band Spainsat satellite is to be operated by Spain's Hisdesat for the Spanish Defense Ministry, and will be used for government telecommunications. A portion of its capacity will also be booked by XTAR - a joint venture satellite communications company created by Hisdesat and Loral Space & Communications - to serve the needs of other government customers.

Spainsat was built by Space Systems/Loral and will be located at an orbital slot of 30 deg. West longitude after launch. It will be carried on the Ariane 5 ECA, along with Eutelsat's Hot Bird 7A spacecraft, which arrived at the Spaceport on January 19. Liftoff of the heavy-lift Ariane 5 is targeted for February 21.

Ariane 5's dual-payload capability is an important part of Arianespace's operational flexibility, allowing the company to pair up satellites on a single flight to meet customers' scheduling and mission requirements.

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Sea Launch Departs Home Port For EchoStar X Mission
Long Beach CA (SPX) Jan 31, 2006
The Odyssey Launch Platform and the Sea Launch Commander have departed Home Port in Long Beach, Calif., for Sea Launch's first mission of the year. The Sea Launch team is preparing to launch the EchoStar X broadcast satellite on Feb. 8, at the opening of a 49-minute launch window, at 3:35 pm Pacific Time (23:35 GMT).

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