ARIANE 5 IS AUTHORIZED FOR LAUNCH WITH TERRESTAR-1

Arianespace’s third heavy-lift Ariane 5 mission of 2009 has been cleared for its July 1 liftoff from the Spaceport in French Guiana. The go-ahead was given following today’s launch readiness review – which validated the status of Ariane 5, its TerreStar-1 payload, the launch infrastructure at Europe’s Spaceport, and the network of downrange tracking stations.

VEGA LAUNCH SITE COMPLETES INITIAL PREPARATION PHASE

The Spaceport’s ELA-1 facility – where Arianespace’s lightweight Vega will be operated – is now ready for integration and qualification tests. These activities are scheduled to begin this summer at the refurbished site, which was previously used between 1979 and 1989 for missions with the Ariane 1 and 3 launcher versions.

TERRESTAR-1 SPACECRAFT TAKES ONE STEP CLOSER TO LIFTOFF

Ariane 5 has received its TerreStar-1 payload in preparation for the heavy-lift launcher’s July 1 mission from Europe’s Spaceport. The Space Systems/Loral-built satellite will provide coverage over the U.S. and Canada – offering voice, data and video communications to satellite/terrestrial mobile devices the size of a typical smart phone.

TERRESTAR-1 READIES FOR JULY 1 MISSION ABOARD ARIANE 5

TerreStar-1 has been mated to the cone-shaped adapter unit that will serve as the interface with its Ariane 5 ECA in preparation for Arianespace’s third mission of the year. The next step for this payload – the world’s largest civilian telecommunications satellite – is its transfer to the Ariane 5 Final Assembly Building at Europe’s Spaceport.

LAUNCH SITE READIES FOR INTRODUCTION OF VEGA

Initial preparations have been completed at the Spaceport’s ELA-1 launch site, which has been refurbished and updated for missions with the new lightweight Vega. This activity includes upgrading and resurfacing the concrete launch pad, installing a new purpose-built mobile gantry, refurbishing the support infrastructure and connecting the site’s various supply lines.

ARIANESPACE ON TRACK FOR ANOTHER RECORD YEAR

Speaking to international reporters at the company’s Paris Air Show press conference, Chairman and CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall highlighted Ariane 5’s sustained mission pace in 2009, as well as continued preparations to introduce Soyuz and Vega at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

Demonstrating Arianespace’s strong market position, two upcoming Ariane 5 missions to launch telecommunications satellites also were announced at the biennial event – ST-2 for Singapore and Taiwan in 2011 and ABS-2 for Hong Kong operator Asia Broadcast Satellite in 2012.