Satellites

Arianespace readies for 5 June Intelsat launch

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Satellite launcher Arianespace is readying for its seventh launch of the year.

The Intelsat 905 satellite to be carried aboard an Ariane 4, will be launched on 5 June from the company's launch pad in French Guiana. The six launches undertaken in 2002 by Arianespace orbited seven primary satellites and two auxiliary payloads with a combined total of over 27,365 kg, an official release says.

Satellites also have arrived for two future Ariane 5 missions - the Stellat 5 spacecraft for Flight 153 in late June, and the MSG-1 platform for Flight 155 in the second half of the year, the release adds. 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 will be used by a joint-venture company called Stellat, which brings together France Telecom (with a 70 per cent share) with Europe*Star (30 per cent). Positioned at 5 deg. West longitude, Stellat 5 will support two-way broadband Internet access across much of Europe, and offer a connectivity matrix between Europe, the east coasts of North and South America, Africa, the Middle East and significant swaths of near Asia.

On the other hand, the second-generation Meteosat metrological satellite, which is a spin-stabilized MSG-1 spacecraft, will provide multi-spectral imagery of the Earth's surface and cloud systems at double the rate of first-generation Meteosat platforms, and will operate 12 spectral channels instead of three. MSG-1 was developed under European Space Agency responsibility and will be operated by Europe's Eumetsat organization, according to Arianespace.

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