Ariane launches 2 heavyweights

Two telecommunications satellites are due to be launched into orbit today (September 5th), by Arianespace. The satellites are Intelsat’s I-37e and Japan’s BSAT-4a.

The final countdown starts at 18.51pm French Guiana time (17.51 EDT, 21.51 GMT), when a 33-minute launch window opens for this, Arianespace’s 5th flight this year.

Intelsat 37e is riding as the upper passenger in Ariane 5’s payload arrangement, to be released 29 minutes into tomorrow’s mission. The spacecraft, with a liftoff mass estimated at 6,438 kg., was built for Intelsat by Boeing using a 702MP platform, and will operate from an orbital position of 342 degrees East.

BSAT-4a – whose launch is part of a turnkey contract between Japan’s Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT) and US-based manufacturer Space Systems/Loral – will be deployed from Ariane 5’s lower passenger position. Based on the SS/L 1300 platform, this satellite’s separation will occur 47 minutes after liftoff – completing Arianespace’s September 5th mission. BSAT-4a has an estimated liftoff mass of 3,520 kg. and will operate from a 110 degrees East orbital slot.

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