Ariane-Start Nummer 1 in 2009Ariane 5 marks first launch of 2009
Vier Satelliten mit Ariane gestartet<br /> After an on-time liftoff from the ELA-3 launch complex at Europe's Spaceport, the heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA deployed HOT BIRD 10 for Eutelsat, followed by NSS-9 for SES NEW SKIES. Two small Spirale auxiliary payloads for the French DGA defense procurement agency were then injected into orbit to complete the 34-minute mission.
The evening flight's live video broadcast showed Ariane 5's smooth ascent from French Guiana after engine ignition at 7:09 p.m., and it tracked the launcher downrange – including separation of the two solid propellant boosters at approximately 2 min. into the flight.
Ariane 5's track record for on-target missions continued with this latest launch, with its accuracy underscored by the provisional orbital parameters at injection of the vehicle's cryogenic upper stage: Perigee: 248.2 km. for a target of 248.5 km; Apogee: 35,955 km. for a target of 35,960 km; Inclination: 1.99 degrees for a target of 1.99 degrees.
This evening's liftoff for Ariane 5 marked the launch vehicle's 29th consecutive success. Total payload performance for tonight's mission was 8,511 kg., which included 7,420 kg. for the satellites, along with the associated integration hardware and the launcher's SYLDA multi-payload dispenser system. HOT BIRD 10 is to be used by Eutelsat for cable and satellite broadcasting duties, and it ultimately will be located at the company's “video neighborhood” orbital slot of 13 deg. This 4,890 kg. spacecraft was manufactured by prime contractor EADS Astrium using the Eurostar E3000 spacecraft bus spacecraft, and is equipped with 64 Ku-band transponders. SES NEW SKIES' NSS-9 had a liftoff mass of about 2,240 kg. and is designed to provide coverage for a variety of customers – including TV broadcasters, government users, operators and transport firms in the Pacific islands, as well as the maritime industry. Produced by Orbital Sciences Corporation with its Star-2 satellite bus, NSS-9 is configured with 44 active high-power C-band transponders, and will be positioned at an orbital slot of 183 degrees East.