Ariane 5 Launch Day Two

When last we tuned in to the launch of Ariane 5 carrying Hispasat 1E and Koreasat 6, the weather had clamped a hold on the countdown as darkness descended.

The launch was scrubbed due to high winds at 2:57 PM Phoenix time (21:57 UTC), and rescheduled for this afternoon, with the same launch window - from 2:27 PM to 3:15 PM (21:27 to 22:15 UTC).

Live TV coverage resumes here at about 2:10 PM (21:10 UTC).

The weather is good and all systems are green. The high winds aloft have subsided.

Hold Due to Weather
Ariane 5 - Hold Due to Weather
Image Credit: Arianespace TV

Ariane 5
Ariane 5 - T-minus 12 minutes
Image Credit: Arianespace TV

At T-minus 7:00 minutes, the launch has gone into the automatic sequence.

T-minus 2 minutes.


At 1:30 all systems are functioning well.

At 2:30 into the flight, we have booster separation.

We are now 22 minutes into the flight, and all systems remain nominal. The second stage is performing flawlessly.

Ariane 5
Ariane 5 - Launch
Image Credit: Arianespace TV

90 Seconds
Ariane 5 - 90 Seconds After Launch
Image Credit: Arianespace TV

Ariane 5
Ariane 5 - Booster Separation From Ariane 5
Image Credit: Arianespace TV

Ariane 5
Ariane 5 - Boosters Falling Away
Image Credit: Arianespace TV

The second stage has completed its powered phase at 25 minutes into the flight. The velocity at this time is 9.3 km per second. Altitude is about 1000 kilometers.

At 30 minutes into the flight, the altitude is now 1500 km, and the velocity has dropped to 8.64 km per second. The Hispasat satellite has separated from the second stage. It is now on its way to a geostationary orbit. Koreasat will separate at about 35 minutes into the flight.


Ariane 5 Launch of HISPASAT 1E and KOREASAT 6

Ariane 5 Hispasat Launch
Ariane 5 Launch of Hispasat and Koreasat
Image Credit: Arianespace TV

Arianespace has rolled out its sixth Ariane 5 for its final mission of this year. The launch window on 28 December 2010 is scheduled to begin at 02:26 PM and end at 03:15 PM Phoenix time.

The workhorse vehicle was transferred to the ELA-3 launch zone from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building in Kourou, French Guiana, where the Ariane 5 was fitted with its dual-satellite payload of HISPASAT 1E and KOREASAT 6.

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 high-quality 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.

At 2:18 PM Phoenix time (21:18 UTC), we are on hold at T-minus 7 minutes due to weather.

At 2:30 PM, we are still on hold due to weather. All other systems are green.

In the meantime, Arianespace showed a review of the construction of the launch complex for the Soyuz system. The first Soyuz launch from Kourou is scheduled for April 2011. The manifest includes the Pléiades-1, ELISA (4 sats) and SSOT aboard a Soyuz-STA/Fregat vehicle.

At 2:40 PM Phoenix time, we have another 35 minutes in the launch window.

At 2:57 PM, the launch has been scrubbed and rescheduled for the same time tomorrow.

Hold Due to Weather
Ariane 5 – Hold Due to Weather
Image Credit: Arianespace TV

The first Ariane 5 Launch of 2011 will be on 15 February at 22:07 UTC. The cargo is the ATV-2 Johannes Kepler resupply vessel for the International Space Station.