Heavy-lift Ariane 5 mission with EchoStar XVII and MSG-3 is given its “go” for liftoff

Ariane 5’s third flight of 2012 has received the green light for its liftoff on Thursday, July 5 from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

The go-ahead for this mission – which will orbit a mixed payload of telecommunications and meteorological spacecraft – was given following today’s launch readiness review. This important pre-launch step, which is performed prior to each Arianespace mission, checks the “go” status of the launcher, the flight’s dual-passenger payload, the Spaceport’s infrastructure and the network of tracking stations which will follow the flight.

Over 9,600 kg. of payload lift performance will be delivered with this mission, which includes a combined total of more than 7,500 kg. for the EchoStar XVII and MSG-3 spacecraft, plus the launch vehicle’s dual-passenger dispenser system and satellite integration hardware.

The EchoStar XVII telecommunications spacecraft is based on Space Systems/Loral’s 1300 series satellite platform and will be operated by Hughes Network Systems. It is to deliver broadband services to consumers, businesses and government customers across North America.

MSG-3 is a meteorological spacecraft for EUMETSAT (the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites), and was produced by a Thales Alenia Space-led consortium. After its deployment by Ariane 5, MSG-3 will operate in geostationary orbit and provide detailed images of Europe, Africa and the North Atlantic for use by meteorologists and national weather forecasters.

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