Ariane 5 delivers HISPASAT 1E and KOREASAT 6 to orbit
Arianespace completed another busy year of launch operations with an Ariane 5 mission that orbited the HISPASAT 1E and KOREASAT 6 telecommunications spacecraft.
The mission was carried out by an Ariane 5 ECA launcher from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Liftoff was on Wednesday, December 29, 2010 at 6:27 pm local time in Kourou.
Lifting off from the Spaceport in French Guiana, Ariane 5 deployed its two passengers during a mission lasting 34 minutes. The 41st consecutive successful flight for Ariane 5 occurred just one month after its previous mission in November.
In total, the 12 large telecommunications relay platforms lofted by Ariane 5 during dual-payload launches this year represent a 60 percent share of all such satellites orbited worldwide since January.
The Ariane 5 launch occurred at sunset in French Guiana, providing an excellent view of the vehicle’s ascent – including the separation of its two solid boosters at an altitude of some 67 km., and the payload fairing’s jettisoning at 106 km.
The HISPASAT 1E satellite lofted by Ariane 5 was the sixth spacecraft launched by Arianespace for the Spanish-based HISPASAT telecommunications operator, continuing a relationship that traces its roots to the orbiting of HISPASAT 1A in 1992. With a liftoff mass of 5,320 kg., HISPASAT 1E will provide high-quality capacity for HISPASAT's new initiatives – which include direct to home television; digital terrestrial television; value-added broadband services in mobile, land and maritime environments; and high-definition television.
The successful orbiting of KOREASAT 6 marked the second payload entrusted to Arianespace by KT Corporation, whose KOREASAT 3 satellite was launched in 1999. KOREASAT 6 had an estimated liftoff mass of 2,850 kg., and was built by an industry team composed of Orbital Sciences Corp. and Thales Alenia Space for the Republic of Korea’s KT Corporation. It will handle broadcasting and communications services across all of South Korea.
Looking to 2011, Arianespace will begin its launch activity on February 15 with an Ariane 5 mission carrying the second European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV).