Arianespace Ready for Third Mission of 2008

Arianespace's third Ariane 5 flight of 2008 is set to take place at the end of the week, launching the Turksat 3A and Skynet 5C satellites from the launch services provider's Spaceport in French Guiana.

The upcoming mission is scheduled for Friday. The Ariane 5 dual-payload "stack" places Turksat 3A in the lower passenger position, with the satellite being released in the final phase of a multi-step mission trajectory. Riding in the upper passenger space is Skynet 5C.

Turksat 3A was built by Thales Alenia Space, and will be utilized by Ankara-based Turksat for telecom services and satellite TV broadcasting over Turkey, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. Skynet 5C is a secure military telecommunications satellite that will be operated by U.K.-based Paradigm