Turksat 3A ready to go

The much-delayed launch of Turksat 3A, along with the UK military payload of Skynet 5C, will take place this Thursday, June 12, from Kourou in French Guiana.

The launch was originally slated for May 30 atop a giant Ariane 5 rocket (the third launch this year of a planned seven) with the delay being blamed on a technical hitch with the launch software. Turksat is needed on station to replace the ageing Turksat 1C. The new satellite will have 24 high-power transponders, broadening the current footprint over a wider area as well as helping boost its broadband by satellite offering. Turksat 3A will be located at 42 deg East.

Skynet 5C is a somewhat strange craft, having both a military and potentially commercial mission. While its main role is to provide UK forces with secure, high-bandwidth communications, the satellite’s spare capacity can be sold to other users. It is the third of a series of three and gives Britain’s MOD coverage from the Americas to Asia.