The no. 2 Automated Transfer Vehicle begins its checkout

The second Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) for launch by Ariane 5 is now undergoing its final assembly and checkout in French Guiana. Named after German astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler, this ATV will service the International Space Station as a follow-up to the no. 1 ATV Jules Verne – which was orbited by Arianespace in March 2008.

Satellite operator ARSAT selects Arianespace to launch Arsat-1

Arianespace has been chosen to orbit the first geostationary satellite built in Argentina, Arsat-1 for ARSAT (Empresa Argentina de Soluciones Satelitales Sociedad Anonima), following an international competitive bid. An Ariane 5 or Soyuz vehicle is scheduled to launch this spacecraft – which will weigh about 2,900 kg. at liftoff – from the Spaceport in French Guiana by mid-2012.

Ariane 5 launch with Arabsat-5A and COMS: postponed

Due to a launch vehicle pressurization anomaly on the main cryogenic stage during final countdown operations for Flight 195, Arianespace has decided to postpone the launch. The launch vehicle and its Arabsat-5A and COMS satellite payloads have been placed in stand-by mode and maintained in fully safe conditions.

Mission preparations move forward for Ariane 5 launches with telecom satellites and Europe’s second ATV

Ariane 5’s ability to perform a full range of missions is underscored by preparation activity currently underway at the Spaceport in French Guiana.

Initial assembly of the third Ariane 5 to be launched in 2010 has been completed at the Spaceport as its ESC-A upper stage and vehicle equipment bay are now installed atop the vehicle’s cryogenic core stage. For the year’s third mission of 2010, this latest Ariane 5 is to carry the RASCOM-QAF 1R and NILESAT 201 telecommunications payloads.

Separately, Europe’s next Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) is being readied for pre-launch checkout at the Spaceport in preparation for its liftoff on an upcoming Ariane 5 mission. The Automated Transfer Vehicle, which is named after German astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler, will be the second such large spacecraft orbited by Arianespace for servicing of the International Space Station – following the Jules Verne ATV launched by an Ariane 5 in March 2008.

Arianespace at CommunicAsia 2010

Arianespace is underscoring its 30 years of success with a key presence at CommunicAsia 2010 – Asia’s international trade event for the global information and communications technologies sector – from June 15-18. Since its founding, Arianespace has signed more than 300 launch Service & Solutions contracts – including eight new contracts in 2010 – and has launched 279 satellites for 76 customers from 101 countries, accounting for more than half of all commercial satellites now in service.

Construction of the mobile gantry for Soyuz moves into its final phase

The mobile gantry at Soyuz’ new launch site in French Guiana is nearing completion as this structure’s framework is now complete, and the metallic siding is being installed. The gantry is one of the major differences at the Spaceport’s new home for Soyuz when compared to the workhorse vehicle’s long-existing launch sites at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia.