Arianespace successfully launches ESA satellite

MUMBAI: Satellite operator Arianespace has announced that its Ariane 5 ECA launcher has successfully orbited two satellites. They are the Xtar-EUR communications satellite for operator XTAR, and the Sloshsat scientific satellite for the European Space Agency (ESA).

Xtar-Eur will be the first commercial satellite to deliver X-band services. It will be positioned at 29 degrees East, allowing it to offer coverage from the East Coast of Brazil to South East Asia. The satellite will provide governmental and military communications, in particular for the US and Spain.

Arianespace has stated that the success of Flight 164 establishes a new standard in commercial space transportation. Ariane 5 ECA offers payload capacity of nearly 10 metric tons into geostationary transfer orbit, giving Arianespace customers even greater performance, flexibility and competitiveness. Flight 164 was carried out by the Ariane 5 ECA from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

Meanwhile Arianespace has been chosen to launch the Star One C2 satellite for Brazil's telecommunications operator Star One. The satellite will be orbited in 2007 by an Ariane 5 from the Guiana Space Center.

Star One C2 is the eighth Brazilian satellite to be booked for launch on Ariane, following six Brasilsat satellites and Star One C1 - which is slated for launch in 2006. Star One claims to be the largest regional satellite service operator in Latin America.

The Star One C2 satellite is being built by Alcatel Space at its Cannes and Toulouse facilities using a Spacebus 3000B3 platform. Weighing about 4,100 kg. at liftoff, it will be placed in geostationary orbit at 65 degrees West. It will be fitted with 45 C-, Ku- and X-band transponders to handle both direct TV broadcasts for South America and international and domestic long-distance telephony for Brazil and Mexico.

With this contract, Arianespace now claims to have a backlog of 40 spacecraft to be launched: 35 on Ariane 5 (including nine ATV missions to the International Space Station), three with Soyuz at the Guiana Space Center and two for Soyuz from Baikonur. Its Starsem subsidiary has a backlog of five satellites to be launched.

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