Two new launch contracts announced by Arianespace

Arianespace has further underscored its leadership position in the commercial launch services sector with a pair of new contracts announced today. These two agreements – for the Intelsat-20 and GSAT 10 spacecraft – bring to 32 the number of satellites on backlog to be lofted by Arianespace, along with six Automated Transfer Vehicles for servicing of the International Space Station.

Another heavy-lift success for Ariane 5

Ariane 5 successfully lofted a pair of Thales Alenia Space-produced satellites from the Spaceport in French Guiana today – marking the heavy-lift vehicle’s 38th consecutive on-target mission. Lifting off from the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone, the Ariane 5 ECA orbited two satellites that will provide telecommunications services to Africa, the Middle East and Persian Gulf states: NILESAT 201 for Egyptian-based Nilesat, and RASCOM-QAF1R for the Pan-African satellite operator, RascomStar-QAF.

Ariane 5 clears initial build-up phase for fourth flight of 2010

Initial assembly is complete for the fourth Ariane 5 to be launched this year, as preparations continue for another of Arianespace’s trademark dual-satellite payload missions. During activity inside the Launcher Integration Building, the heavy-lift Ariane 5 was fitted with its ESC-A upper stage and vehicle equipment bay – which were installed as a single unit. This launch vehicle will orbit Eutelsat’s W3B telecommunications satellite and the BSAT-3b relay platform for B-SAT Corporation during a mission scheduled on September 15.

Ariane 5 is authorized for its dual-payload flight

The green light has been given for Wednesday’s Ariane 5 mission with the NILESAT 201 and RASCOM-QAF1R spacecraft following today’s launch readiness review at the Spaceport. This go-ahead clears the way for Ariane 5’s rollout from its Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone, which will take place tomorrow. Liftoff of the Ariane 5 is planned during a launch window that opens at 5:45 p.m. local time on August 4 in French Guiana.