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Arianespace Set To Launch Two Satellites (June 26)

The launch of Arianespace's eighth mission of the year is on schedule for July 5, when a heavy-lift Ariane 5 is to loft a dual telecommunications satellite payload.

Flight 153 will carry the Stellat 5 and N-STAR C satellites, with liftoff set at the opening of a launch window that runs from 8:21 p.m. to 9:18 p.m. local Kourou time.

Stellat 5 will ride in the upper payload position on Arianespace's heavy-lift Ariane 5, and will be released into geostationary transfer orbit first. It will be followed by N-STAR C, which is to be in the lower position.

Arianespace set the July 5 liftoff for Flight 153 following the N-STAR C delivery to the Spaceport in French Guiana on June 18. The satellite immediately was moved into the new S5 preparation complex, where it is being readied for flight. Our photo at right shows N-STAR C undergoing fueling in the S5C hall of the massive S5 complex.

Built by a Lockheed Martin/Orbital team for NTT DoCoMo, Inc. of Japan, N-STAR c will operate in S-band frequencies from an orbital location at 136 degrees East longitude. The spacecraft is optimized for a 10-year on-orbit life and will provide mobile telephony and data transfer services to Japan and its surrounding waters.

N-Star c will have a launch mass of 1,625 kg., and the satellite is based on Orbital's STAR-1 and STAR-2 standard platforms.

The Stellat 5 payload for Flight 153 will be used by a joint-venture company called Stellat, which brings together France Telecom with EuropeStar. Positioned at 5 deg. West longitude, Stellat 5 will support two-way broadband Internet access across much of Europe, and is to offer a connectivity matrix between Europe, the east coasts of North and South America, Africa, the Middle East and significant swaths of near Asia.

Stellat 5 is based on the Alcatel Space Industries' Spacebus 3000 B3 platform, and will have a launch mass of 4,100 kg. The satellite arrived in French Guiana during May to begin its preparation for launch.

Flight 153: Liftoff Set For July 5