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Default YAHSAT Y1A & INTELSAT NEW DAWN atop Ariane 5 VA201 on Apr. 22, 2011
by Notebook 03-29-2011, 11:46 PM

THE LAUNCH READINESS REVIEW (RAL) took place in Kourou on Monday, March 28, 2011 and authorized count-down operations for the YAHSAT Y1A & INTELSAT NEW LAUNCH launch.
Arianespace will orbit two communications satellite on its second launch of the year: Yahsat Y1A for Al Yah Satellite Communications Company PrJsc (Yahsat) of the United Arab Emirates, and Intelsat New Dawn for New Dawn Satellite Company Ltd., a joint venture between Intelsat and Convergence Partners.
The choice of Arianespace by leading space communications operators and manufacturers is clear international recognition of the company’s excellence in launch services.

Ariane 5 is the only commercial satellite launcher now on the market capable of simultaneously launching two payloads and handling a complete range of missions, from launches of commercial satellites into geostationary orbit, to dedicated launches into special orbits.

THE ARIANE 5 ECA LAUNCHER LIFT-OFF for this flight is scheduled on March 30, 2011 as soon as possible within the following launch window:

>> Kourou Time: Between 06:45 pm and 07:52 pm on March 30, 2011.
>> Launch opportunity (UT): Between 09:45 pm and 10:52 pm on March 30, 2011.
>> Paris Time: Between 11:45 pm and 12:52 am on March 30-31, 2011.
>> Washington Time: Between 05:45 pm and 06:52 pm on March 30, 2011.
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:42 AM   #2
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Mod Note: Thread renamed to "YAHSAT Y1A & INTELSAT NEW DAWN atop Ariane 5 VA201 on Mar. 30, 2011".

There is O-F's calendar event created for this launch, for which you can request a reminder, that will be sent via e-mail on set time before the launch.

Launch opportunity:

 Universal / UTC 
 Paris / CEST 
 Kourou / GFT 
 Washington / EDT 
 Abu Dhabi / GST 
5:37 p.m.
 Apr. 22, 2011 
 Apr. 22, 2011 
 Apr. 22, 2011 
 Apr. 22, 2011 
 Apr. 23, 2011 
L*Click here to restart the timer*

Live Coverage Of The Launch:
You can watch the broadcast of the launch live on Arianespace's Videocorner.
The live coverage will start 15 minutes before the window opening time, at about 21:22 UTC / 5:22 p.m. EDT - i.e.*Click here to restart the timer* hours*Click here to restart the timer*

You can also watch the launch on TV via satellite (where available), from: HOT BIRD™ (Transponder 155), 13° East, Frequency: 11604 MHz, Horizontal Polarisation, Symbol rate: 27.500 Msps, FEC 5/6, DVB-S, QPSK, MPEG-2, No encryption / Free to air.

Yahsat Y1A will be the first United Arab Emirates satellite to be launched by Arianespace. Built by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space, Yahsat Y1A will provide services for both government and commercial customers in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Southeast Asia.

Yahsat Y1A will be positioned at 52.5 degrees East, and will offer its customers broadband solutions for Internet, business data and high-definition television (HDTV) services. It has a design life of 15 years.

YAHSAT Y1A is built around the double-floor version of the Eurostar E3000 platform. It is equipped with a conventional chemical propulsion system and a plasma propulsion system enabling it to carry out highly efficient North-South station-keeping manoeuvres, thus saving on the propellant mass carried, keeping the satellite down to about 6 tons.

The power system comprises a solar generator consisting of two wings, each with four 4-metre panels, equipped with AsGa cells. Once deployed in orbit, the satellite's span is nearly 40 metres. Y1A carries two power buses and two PSR assemblies for electrical power distribution and regulation. All the other components are Eurostar E3000 generic parts, most of the equipment being the second generation, or Mark 2.

The payload comprises a C-band (eight transponders of 36 MHz and six of 54 MHz) and Ku band (up to 25 active transponders) civil payload, as well as a Ka band military payload. Y1A is equipped with a total of 9 antennas, 4 of which can be deployed and 3 of which can be pointed.

New Dawn will be the 52nd satellite launched by Arianespace for Intelsat, the world’s leading satellite operator. The satellite will weigh about 3,000 kg at liftoff, and offers a design life exceeding 15 years.

The construction of the INTELSAT NEW DAWN satellite is based on the STAR-2.4E platform. Built by Orbital Sciences Corporation, the New Dawn satellite is fitted with 28 C-band and 24 Ku-band 36 MHz transponders.

Positioned at 32.8 degrees East, it will offer a wide range of services for Africa, including telephony, Internet, media and data networks.

  • AL YAH Satellite Communications Company
Prime contractor:
  • Telecommunications
  • Telecommunications
  • Total mass at lift-off 5965 kg
  • Total mass at lift-off 3000 kg
  • Dry mass 1283 kg
  • 3 axis stabilized
  • 3 axis stabilized
  • 4.51 x 2.10 x 2.35 m
  • Span in orbit: 39.40 m
  • 4.92 x 2.50 x 3.16 m
  • Span in orbit: 25.58 m
  • Eurostar E3000
  • STAR-2
  • 25 Ku-band and 14 C-band transponders, Ka-band transponders
  • 22 Ku-band transponders, 20 C-band transponders
  • Biliquid apogee motor
  • Biliquid apogee motor
On-board power:
  • 15 kW BOL, 14 kW EOL
  • Lithium Ion cell batteries
  • ≈ 6.75 kW EOL
Life time:
  • 15 years
  • 15 years minimum
Orbital position:
  • 52.5° East
  • 116° West
Coverage area:
  • The Middle East, Africa, Europe, South West Asia
  • Ku-band: Africa
  • C-band: Africa, Western Europe, Middle East, Pakistan
Images (clickable)

Launch Vehicle:
Flight 201 is the 57th Ariane 5 launch and the second in 2011. An ARIANE 5 ECA (Cryogenic Evolution type A), the most powerful version in the ARIANE 5 range, will be used for this flight.

The L558 launcher is the second in the A5ECA family to be delivered by ASTRIUM ST to Arianespace as part of the PB production batch.

In a dual-payload configuration using the SYLDA 5 “A” system and a long pattern fairing (total height: 17 m), the launcher is the communications satellites YAHSAT Y1A in the upper position and INTELSAT NEW DAWN in the lower position.

Ariane 5 ECA
Height up to 52 m
Diameter up to 5.4 m
Liftoff mass 780 tonnes
Payload mass 9.6 tonnes
The latest version of the Ariane 5 launcher, Ariane 5 ECA, is designed to place payloads weighing up to 9.6 tonnes into GTO. With its increased capacity, Ariane 5 ECA can handle dual launches of very large satellites.
Ariane 5 ECA: new elements
Ariane 5 ECA is an improved Ariane 5 Generic launcher. Although it has the same general architecture, a number of major changes were made to the basic structure of the Ariane 5 Generic version to increase thrust and enable it to carry heavier payloads into orbit.
Solid boosters (EAP)
The EAP boosters’ upper segment of the Ariane 5 ECA (also known as segment S1) carries 10% (2.5 tonnes) more propellant. This extra propellant gives the Ariane 5 ECA an additional 50 tonnes of thrust in the first 20 seconds following liftoff. This means that together the twin boosters deliver a thrust of 1300 tonnes at liftoff, nearly 10 times the level delivered by the new engine of the central stage.
Main stage (EPC and Vulcain 2 engine)
An improved version of the Vulcain engine was developed and used on the Ariane 5 ECA version. The Vulcain cryogenic engine was modified to increase its thrust by 20%, up to 137 tonnes. This new Vulcain 2 operates under slightly higher pressure with a mixture ratio that has 20% more liquid oxygen than the Vulcain 1. Because of this change in the mixture, a new oxygen turbopump was developed. In addition, the Vulcain 2 turbopump exhausts are reinjected into the main system, thus improving engine performance at high altitude. The Vulcain 2 engine is a key contributor to the additional lift capability of the new Ariane 5 ECA version into GTO.
To hold the extra liquid oxygen needed for the EPC core stage, the capacity of the liquid oxygen tank has been increased by 16 tonnes. This was achieved by relocating the common tank bulkhead between the liquid oxygen tank and the liquid hydrogen tank of the Ariane 5 Generic EPC stage and reinforcing the structure elements.

The launcher’s attitude and trajectory are totally controlled by the two onboard computers, located in the Ariane 5 vehicle equipment bay (VEB). 7.05 seconds after ignition of the main stage cryogenic engine at T-0, the two solid-propellant boosters are ignited, enabling liftoff. The launcher first climbs vertically for 6 seconds, then rotates towards the East. It maintains an attitude that ensures the axis of the launcher remains parallel to its velocity vector, in order to minimize aerodynamic loads throughout the entire atmospheric phase, until the solid boosters are jettisoned. Once this first part of the flight is completed, the onboard computers optimize the trajectory in real time, minimizing propellant consumption to bring the launcher first to the intermediate orbit targeted at the end of the main stage propulsion phase, and then the final orbit at the end of the flight of the cryogenic upper stage. The main stage falls back off the coast of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean (in the Gulf of Guinea). On orbital injection, the launcher will have attained a velocity of approximately 9354 meters/second, and will be at an altitude of about 656 kilometers. The fairing protecting the Yahsat Y1A and Intelsat New Dawn spacecraft is jettisoned shortly after the boosters are jettisoned at about T+191 seconds.

Launch Preparations:
Feb. 1, 2011
  • Campaign start review
  • EPC Erection
Feb. 2, 2011
  • EAP transfer and positionning
Feb. 3, 2011
  • Integration EPC/EAP
Feb. 8, 2011
  • ESC-A and VEB Erection
Feb. 16, 2011
  • Arrival in Kourou of Yahsat Y1A and beginning of preparation campaign in building S1 B
Mar. 1, 2011
  • Arrival in Kourou of Intelsat New Dawn and beginning of preparation campaign in building S1 B
Mar. 7-11, 2011
  • Yahsat Y1A filling operations
Mar. 10, 2011
  • Roll-out from BIL to BAF
Mar. 14-16, 2011
  • Intelsat New Dawn filling operations
Mar. 15, 2011
  • Yahsat Y1A integration on adaptor (ACU)
Mar. 16, 2011
  • Yahsat Y1A transfer to Final Assembly Building (BAF)
Mar. 17, 2011
  • Yahsat Y1A integration on Sylda and Intelsat New Dawn integration on adaptor
Mar. 18, 2011
  • Fairing integration on Sylda
  • Intelsat New Dawn transfer to Final Assembly Building (BAF)
Mar. 21, 2011
  • Intelsat New Dawn integration on launcher
Mar. 22, 2011
  • ESC-A final preparations and payloads control
  • Upper composite integration with Yahsat Y1A on launcher
Mar. 23, 2011
  • Satellite functional tests on launcher
Mar. 24, 2011
  • Launch rehearsal
Mar. 25, 2011
  • Arming of launch vehicle
Mar. 28, 2011
  • Launch readiness review (RAL) and final preparation of launcher
Mar. 29, 2011
  • Roll-out from BAF to Launch Area (ZL)
  • Launch vehicle connections and filling of the EPC liquid Helium sphere
Mar. 30, 2011
  • Launch countdown including EPC and ESC-A filling with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen

Arianespace Mission Updates:
Click on images to enlarge

Intelsat Blog:

Countdown & Launch Sequence:
–11:30:00Start of final countdown
–07:30:00Check of electrical systems
–04:50:00Start of filling of main cryogenic stage with liquid oxygen and hydrogen
–03:20:00Chilldown of Vulcain main stage engine
–01:10:00Check of connections between launcher and telemetry, tracking and command systems
–00:07:00“All systems go” report, allowing start of synchronized sequence
–00:04:00Tanks pressurized for flight
–00:01:00Switch to onboard power mode
–00:00:05.5Command issued for opening of cryogenic arms
–00:00:04Onboard systems take over
–00:00:03Unlocking of guidance systems to flight mode
–00:00:00H0 - Ignition of the cryogenic main stage engine (EPC)
    ALT [km]    
V.rel. [m/s]
+00:00:07.05 Ignition of solid boosters
+00:00:12.8End of vertical climb and beginning of pitch rotation (10 seconds duration)
+00:00:17.1Beginning of roll manoeuvre
+00:02:20Jettisoning of solid boosters
+00:03:11Jettisoning of fairing
+00:07:58Acquisition by Natal tracking station
+00:08:53Shut-down of main cryogenic stage
+00:08:59Separation of main cryogenic stage
+00:09:03Ignition of upper cryogenic stage (ESC-A)
+00:13:39Acquisition by Ascension tracking station
+00:18:27Acquisition by Libreville tracking station
+00:23:12Acquisition by Malindi tracking station
+00:27:27Separation of Yahsat Y1A satellite
+00:33:48Separation of Sylda 5
+00:35:03Separation of Intelsat New Dawn satellite
+00:46:03End of Arianespace Flight mission

Injection orbit:
Perigee altitude:
250 km
Apogee altitude:
35962 km at injection / 35786 km
Perigee argument:
Ascending node longitude:
-119.68° (*)
(*) in relation to a fixed axis, frozen at H0 - 3s and passing through the ELA3 launch complex in Kourou.


Last edited by orb; 04-11-2011 at 08:28 PM. Reason: New launch date. Fixed character encoding.
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:40 PM   #3
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Launch of the Ariane 5 VA201 in an hour.

Arianespace: The final countdown is underway for Arianespace’s second Ariane 5 flight of 2011

Intelsat Blog: Launch Window for Intelsat New Dawn Lift-Off Opens at 5:45 pm EDT

Spaceflight Now: Ariane rocket to loft satellites for Middle East and Africa

NASASpaceflight: Ariane ECA set for launch with Yahsat 1A and Intelsat New Dawn

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Old 03-30-2011, 09:30 PM   #4
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H0-10 minutes and counting.

You can watch the live video coverage of the launch at Arianespace's Videocorner.
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:46 PM   #5
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Launch aborted
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:01 PM   #6
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There was pad abort after main engine ignition, scrubbing the launch attempt today. The stack will need to be rolled back to BAF before further attempts. No new date for next attempt is known yet.
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:11 PM   #7
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Video of the abort:
Video of the abort
Ariane 5’s launch with Yahsat Y1A and Intelsat New Dawn is aborted

March 30, 2011 – Ariane Flight VA201

Tonight’s Ariane 5 mission with the Yahsat Y1A and Intelsat New Dawn satellites was aborted prior to liftoff when an automated checkout stopped the launch sequence before ignition of the solid boosters.

The final countdown was conducted as planned, including the startup of Ariane 5’s cryogenic main engine. Following the normal procedures for an Ariane 5 launch, this cryogenic engine’s operation is fully validated during a period of seven seconds before an ignition command is given to the two solid boosters – which commits the vehicle to liftoff.

Arianespace Chairman & CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall said the cryogenic main engine’s checkout process was not completed successfully, preventing the boosters’ ignition and thereby aborting the mission. The Ariane 5 and its two payloads remain in a safe mode on the launch pad, and the vehicle will be returned to the Final Assembly Building for diagnostics.

“We do not take any risks, and therefore it is very important we determine the causes,” Le Gall stated.
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:51 AM   #8
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That was really a last-second abort !

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Old 04-11-2011, 05:52 PM   #9
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New launch date:
April 22, 2011, 21:37 UTC / 5:37 p.m. EDT / 23:37 CEST

  • 2011-04-11: Ariane 5's launch with Yahsat Y1A and Intelsat New Dawn is set for April 22:
    Arianespace has established Friday, April 22 as the new launch date for Ariane 5’s dual-payload mission with the Yahsat Y1A and Intelsat New Dawn satellite payloads from the Spaceport in French Guiana.

    This timing was based on the additional checkout and verifications now in progress for the heavy-lift launcher following the final countdown’s interruption on March 30. The interruption occurred when an anomaly was detected during the automated checkout procedure after startup of the Ariane 5’s cryogenic main engine.

    The launcher is in the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building where checkout and verification activity is underway for the mission, designated Ariane Flight VA201 – signifying the 201st launch of an Ariane family vehicle.
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:45 AM   #10
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Space News: Cause Identified for Ariane 5 Launch Abort:
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The March 30 launch abort of Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket after the main engine had been ignited was caused by one or more components attached to the engine nozzle that prevented the nozzle from moving freely during ignition, the head of the Arianespace launch consortium said April 15.

The suspect components have since been removed, and replacements tested and installed on the Ariane 5 ECA rocket, Jean-Yves Le Gall said in an interview. The launch, to carry Intelsat’s New Dawn and startup operator Yahsat’s Yahsat 1A telecommunications satellites, has been rescheduled for April 22.


We have not isolated a single probable cause, but several components attached to the [Vulcain] engine and nozzle did not give the nozzle sufficient freedom of movement. The actuators then center the nozzle,” Le Gall said in an interview. “In this case, the computer found that the nozzle was not moving as it should, and it correctly stopped the ignition.

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Old 04-18-2011, 03:50 PM   #11
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Spaceflight Now :

Arianespace blames launch abort on engine actuator

Engineers traced the cause of March's dramatic last-second abort of an Ariane 5 launch to an actuator in the vehicle's Vulcain main engine, a small part since replaced to allow the rocket to blast off as soon as Friday with communications satellites for the Middle East and Africa, according to Arianespace officials.

The 16-story rocket and its two commercial payloads appeared ready to soar into space March 30, but the flight was automatically aborted when computers noticed something was amiss with the Ariane's hydrogen-fueled main engine.

The Ariane 5 rocket's on-board computer detected an "incorrect displacement" of one of the Vulcain 2 engine actuators less than a half-second before the launcher was supposed to lift off from the launch pad, according to an anomaly summary provided to Spaceflight Now.

In a typical Ariane 5 countdown, the Vulcain 2 engine ignites about seven seconds before computers give the command to fire the launcher's two solid rocket boosters, powerful strap-on motors that produce the energy for the vehicle to rise away from the pad at the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana.

During those seconds, the Ariane 5 is put through an automated health check before committing the rocket to flight.

The flight computer detected the anomaly March 30 about 6.6 seconds into the Vulcain engine's burn, just a fraction of a second before the solid rocket boosters would have ignited, according to Arianespace, the commercial operator of the Ariane 5.

It was the first time an Ariane 5 rocket experienced such a last-second fault after its engine was already firing.

Well-practiced procedures allowed the launch team to immediately put the rocket, payloads and ground facilities into a safe configuration. The rocket was drained of cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants before it was rolled back to the spaceport's final assembly building April 1 for inspections and repairs.

Engineers decided not to replace the Ariane 5's main engine, but workers removed multiple actuators from the Vulcain 2 and shipped them to their manufacturer in Europe for analysis, according to Mario de Lepine, an Arianespace spokesperson.

The actuators are small components that move the engine. Technicians inserted fresh units in their place.

"The launch vehicle is now back to its normal sequence of operations leading to the next launch attempt," de Lepine said.

Arianespace set up a task force with the European Space Agency, industry and CNES, the French space agency, to investigate the problem and oversee the rocket's return-to-flight operations.

The Ariane 5 is scheduled to return to the space center's ELA-3 launch zone Thursday morning. Liftoff is set for Friday at 2137 GMT (5:37 p.m. EDT).

The European rocket will haul the Yahsat 1A and Intelsat New Dawn communications satellites into orbit.

Operated by Al Yah Satellite Communications Co. of Abu Dhabi, Yahsat 1A will provide direct-to-home television programming, secure Ka-band communications capacity for government and military applications in the United Arab Emirates and other nations.

The 6,600-pound Intelsat New Dawn spacecraft will link Africa, Western Europe, the Middle East and Pakistan through Ku-band and C-band transponders and antennas. Mostly financed by South African investors, Intelsat New Dawn is geared for wireless broadband, television and other media applications.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:57 AM   #12
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Launch window for Ariane Flight VA201:

 Universal / UTC 
Paris / CEST
 Kourou / GFT 
 Washington / EDT 
 Abu Dhabi / GST 
21:3711:37 p.m.6:37 p.m.5:37 p.m.1:37 a.m.
22:4112:41 a.m.7:41 p.m.6:41 p.m.2:41 a.m.
April 22, 2011April 22-23, 2011 April 22, 2011April 22, 2011April 23, 2011
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Old 04-22-2011, 12:02 AM   #13
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:23 PM   #14
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H0-13 minutes. Live coverage for today's launch attempt has begun on Arianespace's Videocorner.
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:16 PM   #15
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Ariane 5 lifted off at the beginning of the launch window. There was good weather to see the separation of boosters and fairing. Flight of the rocket was nominal. Both satellites separated successfully.
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