Hispasat, Koreasat ready for launch
By Robert Briel
Published: December 28, 2010 08.59 Europe/London

Arianespace has rolled out its sixth Ariane 5 for launch in 2010, preparing the final mission of this year for an evening liftoff today, December 28, at the Spaceport in French Guiana.

The workhorse vehicle was transferred to the ELA-3 launch zone from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building – where the Ariane 5 was fitted with its dual-satellite payload of Hispasat 1E and Koreasat 6.

Preparations now are underway for tomorrow’s final countdown, which will lead to the liftoff during a launch window that opens at 6:26 p.m. and continues to 7:15 p.m., local time in French Guiana. Arianesapce will provide live webcast coverage of the launch on their website.

Ariane 5′s payload lift performance for this mission is a total of about 9,260 kg., which includes a mass of 8,170 kg. for its satellite passengers, along with the associated integration hardware and the launcher’s Sylda multi-payload dispenser system.

Riding as the upper passenger in Ariane 5′s payload “stack” is Hispasat 1E, which will be released at 27 minutes into the flight. This Space Systems/Loral-built satellite weighs approximately 5,320 kg., and is to
provide capacity for Spanish operator Hispasat’s new initiatives – which include direct to home television; digital terrestrial television; value-added broadband services in mobile, land and maritime environments; and high-definition television.

Koreasat 6, which has an estimated liftoff mass of 2,850 kg., will be deployed from Ariane 5′s lower passenger position at approximately 34 minutes into the mission. Built by an industry team composed of Orbital
Sciences Corp. and Thales Alenia Space for the Republic of Korea’s KT Corporation, Koreasat 6 is to provide broadcasting and communications services across all of South Korea.