Ariane 5 ready for SES and Thor


The two valuable passengers are now securely fitted into an Ariane 5 rocket ready for blast-off on Oct 29 from the French spaceport at Kourou, on the edge of the Amazon jungle.

SES World Skies is sending its NSS-12 craft off, while Telenor Satellite has its Thor 6 in position, ready to orbit. A ‘readiness review’ all went “nominally” on Tuesday ahead of what is a giant mission for Arianespace, and its 6th launch of the year.

These two satellite passengers weigh in at a massive 8,700 kg. NSS-12 will go to with its 40 transponders to 57 deg East, and its no surprise that there’s an important bunch of VIPs on hand from India and the Middle East present to watch the launch.

NSS-12 will be the first craft released at 26 minutes and 36 seconds into the flight, followed at 31 minutes into the mission by the release of Thor 6. Thor’s target is Telenor’s established 1 degree West ‘hot spot’, although in this case as well as addressing viewers in Scandinavia it will also be seeking out new customers in Central and Eastern Europe.