The multi-passenger payload “stack” for Ariane 5's upcoming mission begins to take shape
January 30, 2009
Arianespace today initiated the payload “stack” build-up for its first Ariane 5 mission of 2009, which will orbit two large telecommunications satellites and a pair of auxiliary passengers on February 12 from the Spaceport in French Guiana.
Image above: HOT BIRD 10 is ready to be lowered onto the SYLDA payload dispenser, which is the cylindrical-shaped structure at the base of this integration rig in the Ariane 5’s final assembly building.
The process was initiated with the installation of Eutelsat’s HOT BIRD™ 10 spacecraft atop the Ariane 5 SYLDA dispenser system. This activity occurred in the payload integration area of Ariane 5’s final assembly building at the Spaceport, creating the upper component of the payload stack.
As a result, the HOT BIRD 10/SLYDA combination is now ready to be positioned over the Ariane 5’s lower satellite – the SES NEW SKIES NSS-9 spacecraft – which will be installed directly atop the launcher’s core cryogenic stage.
During the upcoming launch, HOT BIRD 10 will be released first in the payload deployment sequence, followed by the SYLDA dispenser’s separation, clearing the way for Ariane 5’s release of NSS-9.
HOT BIRD 10 was built by prime contractor EADS Astrium, and is based on the company’s Eurostar E3000 spacecraft bus. It will be the second HOT BIRD satellite launched for Eutelsat on consecutive Arianespace missions, and follows the identical HOT BIRD™ 9 spacecraft orbited by Ariane 5’s year-ending 2008 mission on December 20. HOT BIRD 9 had a liftoff weight of 4,880 kg. and will handle cable and satellite broadcasting duties at Eutelsat’s orbital slot of 13 deg. East – where HOT BIRD 10 also is to be located.
The NSS-9 satellite will have a liftoff mass of 2,230 kg. for the upcoming Ariane 5 mission, and was manufactured by Orbital Sciences Corporation. This satellite is to be positioned at 183 deg. East to provide communications links for SES NEW SKIES customers that include broadcasters, government users, Pacific island carriers and the maritime industry.
Joining NSS-9 and HOT BIRD 10 on Ariane 5’s February 12 launch are two 120-kg.-class Spirale microsatellites. They are demonstrators for a French space-based optical early warning program that will become part of an anti-ballistic missile defense system, and also contribute to other operational missions such as proliferation monitoring. The two Spirale spacecraft are installed on a ring-shaped support structure installed at the base of Ariane 5’s payload stack, and were built by Alcatel Space for Spirale program prime contractor EADS Astrium.
(Source: Arianespace )