MEASAT-3d and GSAT-24 | Ariane 5 ECA+

Uncategorized
Lift Off Time
(Subject to change)

June 22, 2022 – 18:03 UTC | 14:03 EDT

Mission Name

MEASAT-3d and GSAT-24

Launch Provider
(What rocket company is launching it?)

Arianespace

Customer
(Who’s paying for this?)

MEASAT and NewSpace India Limited (NSIL)

Rocket

Ariane 5 ECA+

Launch Location

ELA-3, Guiana Space Centre, French Guiana

Payload mass

~ 5,680 kg (POUNDS HERE)

Where are the satellites going?

Geostationary Transfer Orbit

Will they be attempting to recover the first stage?

No, this is not a capability of Arianespace

Where will the first stage land?

It will crash into the Atlantic Ocean

Will they be attempting to recover the fairings?

No, this is not a capability of Arianespace

Are these fairings new?

Yes

How’s the weather looking?

TBD

This will be the:

– 66th orbital launch attempt of 2022
– 2nd Arianespace mission of 2022
– 1st Ariane 5 mission of 2022
– 113th Ariane 5 mission ever
– 291st mission for Arianespace

Where to watch

Once an official livestream is available, it can be found here

What’s All This Mean?

In the first Ariane 5 launch this year, Arianespace will deliver two communication satellites to a geostationary orbit. Each satellite will service a region of Asia, one being designed by a company in India, the other in Malaysia. While Arianespace is headquartered in France, they do not launch from Europe. Instead, they launch from the overseas territory of French Guiana, which is much closer to the equator.

What’s On Board?

The Ariane 5 ECA rocket has the unique ability to host two large payloads through the use of a “table” adapter.

This “table” comes as two different options. One of which is called the Sylda 5 and the other Speltra. Both of them serve very similar purposes and are encapsulated inside the fairing. Being able to carry two payloads represents a massive advantage to help split launch costs between two companies and “kill two birds with one stone.” One of the main differences between the two payloads is size.

For integration, the bottom satellite is placed on the payload adapter and then encased in the table structure. Afterwards, the top satellite is then placed on the table. This normally leads to the larger payload in the top position. The final step is fairing encapsulation around both satellites.

What Is MEASAT-3d?

Built by Airbus, the MEASAT-3d satellite is 57th satellite based on the E3000 satellite platform. It will be positioned in a geostationary orbit inclined at 91.5 degrees. Through this orbit, the satellite will be able to service it’s primary area, Asia and the Pacific.

Render of a MEASAT satellite (Credit: MEASAT)

MEASAT-3d has the capability to, throughout Malaysia, provide broadband service up to 100Mbps in areas where there is little to no connectivity from Earth-based systems. In addition, MEASAT-3d will be able to provide High Definition (HD), 4k, and 8k video.

Many communications satellites have multiple other satellites that are identical or very similar in all aspects. In this case, MEASAT-3d will be joining the previously launched MEASAT-3b. Having multiples of the same satellite allows for better connectivity in certain areas and for users to be distributed to various satellites in order to avoid overloading one. MEASAT-3d has a planned operation life of 19 years

What Is GSAT-24?

GSAT-24 is also a communications satellite. It is built by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for NewSpace India Limited (NSIL). The satellites services include high-quality video, telecommunications, and broadcast to all of India. The satellite will be Demand Driven, meaning that it will increase functionality as more customers require its use. GSAT-24 operates in the Ku-band.

Render of the GSAT-24 satellite (Credit: NSIL)

What Is The Ariane 5 ECA?

The Ariane 5 ECA is a European heavy-lift launch vehicle developed by Arianespace for the European Space Agency. Regarded as one of the most reliable launch vehicles in the world, the Ariane 5 has launched 109 times since 1996 with a 95.4% success rate. The rocket flew 82 consecutive missions without failure before suffering a partial failure in January 2018. The Ariane 5 launches from the European Spaceport in French Guiana, a spaceport close to the equator, which allows the rocket to take advantage of the Earth’s greater rotation speed there and boost the launch performance. 

The ECA version of the Ariane 5 is capable of launching two large satellites, one on top of the other, using an adapter known as the Système de Lancement Double Ariane (SYLDA). The adapter covers the lower satellite as it supports the higher satellite. When the time comes for satellite deployment, the top satellite is released first, the SYLDA is then jettisoned, and the bottom satellite is released last.

Ariane 5 launch (Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace)

Boosters

Two P241 solid rocket boosters (SRBs) are attached to the sides of the rockets main stage. They are fueled with a mix of ammonium perchlorate (AP) (68%), aluminium fuel (18%), and Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) (14%). Each booster provides about 7,080 kN (1,590,000 lbf) of thrust, burning for 130 seconds before crashing into the ocean. They are usually left to sink to the bottom of the ocean, but similarly to the Space Shuttles SRB, it is possible to recover them using parachutes. When this is done it is for post-flight analysis, and the boosters are not reusable.

Main Stage

The Ariane 5 has a cryogenic H173 main stage, called the EPC (Étage Principal Cryotechnique — Cryotechnic Main Stage), which burns for 540 seconds. It is comprised of a main tank, which is 30.5 m tall and has two compartments, one compartment for liquid hydrogen (LH2) and the other for liquid oxygen (LOx). A Vulcain 2 engine sits at the base and provides vacuum thrust of 1,390 kN (310,000 lbf). 

The cryogenic main stage (Credit: Arianespace)

Second Stage

The ECA has an upper stage called the ESC-A (Étage Supérieur Cryotechnique — Cryogenic Upper Stage), and uses an HM7B engine, which is fueled by liquid hydrogen (LH2) and liquid oxygen (LOx). The stage provides 67 kN (15,000 lbf) in vacuum, has an ISP of 446 seconds, and will burn for 945 seconds.

The cryogenic upper stage (Credit: Arianespace)

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