A dual-payload success for Europe: Arianespace's Ariane 5 gives a “lift” to the THOR 7 and SICRAL 2 satellites
Arianespace - Ariane 5 Flight VA222 poster.
April 26, 2015
Liftoff of Ariane 5 with THOR 7 and SICRAL 2
Arianespace extended Ariane 5’s track record of success with another heavy-lift mission performed today from the Spaceport in French Guiana, which launched a mixed payload of commercial and military telecommunications satellites – THOR 7 and SICRAL 2 – for European operators.
Ariane 5 EC carrying THOR 7and SICRAL 2 satellites launch today at 8:00 UTC
Both spacecraft were deployed following their ascent from the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone, with THOR 7 released some 28 minutes after liftoff, and SICRAL 2 separating approximately six minutes later to complete the flight sequence.
Ariane 5 delivered an estimated total lift performance of 9,850 kg., including its two passengers and hardware for the launcher’s dual-payload deployment system. This mission – designated VA222 in Arianespace’s numbering system – was the 222nd launch of an Ariane-series vehicle since 1979, and the 64th consecutive success for Ariane 5, as well as its 78th flight overall.
THOR 7 satellite in orbit
THOR 7 was built by SSL (Space Systems/Loral) for operation by Telenor Satellite Broadcasting, a major European satellite provider of broadcast and data communication services for customers in the broadcast, maritime, and oil and gas markets.
To operate from an orbital slot at .8 deg. West longitude, this spacecraft will serve the maritime sector – offering high-powered coverage over the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea, the Red Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean. A Ku-band payload for broadcast and television services in Central and Eastern Europe also is incorporated in the relay platform.
THOR 7 satellite separation in orbit
SICRAL 2, the second payload deployed by Ariane 5 on today’s mission, is a military telecommunications satellite designed to provide strategic and tactical telecommunications links for French and Italian military forces, as well as reserve capacity for other NATO nations.
To be operated from an orbital position of 37 deg. East, SICRAL 2 was developed in the framework of a turnkey contract that the Italian Defense Ministry and the French DGA armament agency (Direction Générale de l’Armement) have with Thales Alenia Space Italy. Telespazio, among other things, was responsible for the launch service.
SICRAL 2 satellite in orbit
With today’s success, Arianespace has conducted three launches from French Guiana so far in 2015 – each with a different member from the company’s launcher family, in which Ariane 5 is joined by the medium-lift Soyuz and lightweight Vega. This pace keeps the company on track to meet its target of 11 missions during the year, based on the availability of payloads scheduled for these launches.
The next Arianespace mission is planned for May, using another Ariane 5 to orbit the DIRECTV-15 and SKY MEXICO-1 satellites.
For more information, see the VA222 launch kit: http://www.arianespace.com/news-launch-kits/2015-2016-archive.asp
For more information about Arianespace, visit: http://www.arianespace.com/index/index.asp
Images, Video, Text, Credits: Arianespace/Thales Alenia/SSL/Orbiter.ch Aerospace.
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