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Default ARIANESPACE FLIGHT VA211 - SKYNET 5D & MEXSAT BICENTENARIO, December 19, 2012
by Notebook 12-17-2012, 08:17 PM

LANCEMENT ARIANESPACE VA211 - SKYNET 5D & MEXSAT BICENTENARIO[/CENTER]
La Revue d'Aptitude au Lancement (RAL) s'est déroulée le lundi 17 décembre à Kourou et a autorisé les opérations de chronologie pour le Vol Ariane 5 ECA – SKYNET 5D et MEXSAT BICENTENARIO.
Pour son septième lancement Ariane 5 de l'année, Arianespace mettra en orbite deux charges utiles : le satellite de télécommunications militaires Skynet 5D d'Astrium Services pour le compte du Ministère britannique de la Défense et le satellite de télécommunications Mexsat Bicentenario pour le Secrétariat mexicain des Communications et des Transports (SCT).
Le choix d'Arianespace par de grands opérateurs et constructeurs du secteur des télécommunications spatiales illustre la reconnaissance internationale d'un service de lancement de qualité. Par sa fiabilité et sa disponibilité, Arianespace reste le système de lancement de référence mondiale.
Le lancement sera effectué depuis l'Ensemble de Lancement Ariane n° 3 (ELA 3) à Kourou en Guyane française.
Le décollage du lanceur Ariane 5 ECA est prévu le plus tôt possible dans la fenêtre de lancement suivante :

> Kourou : de 18h49 à 20h08, le 19 décembre 2012

> GMT/TU : de 21h49 à 23h08,le 19 décembre 2012
> Paris : de 22h49 à 00h08, le 19-20 décembre 2012
> Wahsington : de 16h49 à 18h08, le 19 décembre 2012
Pour suivre l’événement en direct sur Internet et en haut débit, connectez vous sur le site www.arianespace.com(commentaires depuis Kourou en français et en anglais à partir de H-15 mn). Le site Arianespace dispose désormais d'une plate-forme d'hébergement mondiale. Suivez également le lancement en direct sur iPad et iPhone (l’application Arianespace est téléchargeable gratuitement sur iTune).


Suivez Arianespace sur Twitter pour les dernières news en temps réel
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ARIANESPACE FLIGHT VA211 - SKYNET 5D & MEXSAT BICENTENARIO
THE LAUNCH READINESS REVIEW (RAL) took place in Kourou on Monday December 17, 2012 and authorized count-down operations for the SKYNET 5D and MEXSAT BICENTENARIO launch.Arianespace will orbit two satellites on its seventh Ariane 5 launch of the year: the Skynet 5D military communications satellite for Astrium Services, on behalf of the British Ministry of Defence, and the Mexsat Bicentenario telecommunications satellite for the Mexican Secretariat of Communications and Transport.
The choice of Arianespace by leading space communications operators and manufacturers is clear international recognition of the company's excellence in launch services.
It will be launched from the Ariane launch complex N° 3 (ELA3), in Kourou, French Guiana.
THE ARIANE 5 ECA LAUNCHER LIFT-OFF for this flight is scheduled on December 19 to 20, 2012 as soon as possible within the following launch window:
> Kourou: Between 06:49pm and 08:08pm

> GMT/TU: Between 09:49pm and 11:08pm

> Paris: Between 10:49pm and 12:08am

> Wahsington: Between 04:49pm and 06:08pm

Our website www.arianespace.comhas upgraded to high-speed transmission and a full-screen format to make it easier for you to follow the company’s activities and to enjoy future launch webcasts. You can also watch the video transmission live on your iPad or iPhone, the Arianespace App is available on iTune and it’s free.


Follow Arianespace on Twitter for the latest company news… as it happens

Last edited by Galactic Penguin SST; 12-17-2012 at 08:31 PM. Reason: Deleted broken image links on request
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:23 PM   #2
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Strange, usual thing, I try to delete the graphic content that I can't see to keep it small. But (shouldn't start a sentence with But!), still can't edit this thread. Oh well, never mind.
Sure a Moderator will come and fix it.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:27 PM   #3
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This should become the third and final installment of the "pre-apocalypse, errr pre-Christmas" launch mad dash of three launches within 29 hours on Tuesday and Wednesday (was to be 9.5 hours, until one Chinese launch suddenly moved up by a day). This will also most probably be the last orbital launch of 2012.

My report on this and the other two launches will come in the next few hours!
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:05 PM   #4
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Sorry guys, but you may all be wrong. The world, or at least the world as we know it, have a non-insignificant chance of ending this Friday, due to one of the world's largest ancient arsenal fell to the control of a secret computer network that may have already spun out of control.

I was informed several hours ago by an official from Wikileaks that a huge pile of documents from the US CIA and the NATO headquarters has just been leaked. One of the most shocking discoveries was that of a universal computer control system linking all US military units and allied forces around world, known as Skynet. Yes, the Skynet of Terminators fame actually exists! Except that the system network of numerous mainframe computers is running normally since its inception in 1969.

That is, until recently.

Which links to yet another amazing classified record: in 2009 archaeologists working on the famous remains of the ancient city of Teotihuacan just off Mexico City discovered an underground chamber of enormous size several kilometers beneath the world-famous pyramids, but they were unable to dig further due to the high level of radiation detected there. Later the CIA was notified of the discovery, and a dispatched team was sent to there. What they discovered was beyond anyone's imagination - a nuclear arsenal piled with hundreds, if not thousands, of nuclear bombs that were determined to be a highly advanced version of the hydrogen bomb used today. The history of such a highly advanced technology development is still unknown, but it was theorized that it was built entirely by extraterrestrial life more than a millennium ago. Even more amazingly, they found one of the insignificant buildings of the ancient city serves as the "antenna" for receiving radio signals for controlling the weapon system. Had the correct message been sent and setting all the bombs to explode, it would have obliterated the Earth's crust for 500 km in all directions and sending huge chunks of radioactive dust around the Earth.

This was kept as a most-classified secret within the CIA (not even the Mexicans or any other intelligence groups have been able to got this information) - until it was transmitted through the Skynet network.

On August 8th, 2012, a CIA official found an unknown program code running within the Skynet network. To the dismay of every single operator of the system, it shows exactly the same symptoms that the Terminator Skynet has - a program that would lead to the destruction of homo sapiens on Earth. An included text file shows how it would have been done:

The Skynet network uses encrypted satellite communication links for global data transfer through a series of satellites with the same name, operated by the British MoD. The "program of destruction" (which its origin is not known at this time) was able to found a fatal loophole in the control code of the latest satellite slated to join the fleet, Skynet 5D, that would cause it to be hijacked by this program. When the satellite got launched on an Ariane 5 rocket on December 19, it would hack and take over control of the satellite soon after launch. It would then attempt to send signals to forcefully take over control of the second satellite launched at the same time, a Mexican government communication satellite named Mexsat 3, and use it to beam the activation code of the Teotihuacan arsenal to there (apparently the program somehow was able to decipher the code using unknown means), setting all the H-bombs to explode at the same time.

The earliest opportunity that this can happen is on December 21. Or it might not happen, for the CIA are desperately trying to take down the software before it's too late to stop it. The current status of such an operation is unknown at this time.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------


OK I made several lies here - the Skynet computer network does not exist, there is no ancient nuclear arsenals found in Mexico (or at least known right now), and the world should not end with a 99.999999999999999999999999999+ % chance on Friday. But the satellites that was mentioned do exist in real life - and will be launched in just two days from now! So here is my report for the record-keeping seventh launch of 2012:







Launch location:

Kourou Launch pad ELA-3 5° 14'06.34"N, 52° 46'06.34"W

Launch dates and times:

Launch times
Time Zone
Kourou / UTC-3
Mexico City / UTC-6
London / Universal / UTC
Washington / EST
Los Angeles / PST
Sydney /UTC+11
Launch time (Primary):
18:49
15:49
21:49
16:49
13:49
08:49
on:
Dec. 19, 2012
Dec. 19, 2012
Dec. 19, 2012
Dec. 19, 2012
Dec. 19, 2012
Dec. 20, 2012
*Click here to restart the timer* Ariane flight VA-211 Launch

Live Coverage Of The Launch:

PAYLOAD 1

Skynet 5D military communication satellite:



Mission Summary

Under the Skynet 5 Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract signed in October 2003 and extended in March 2010, the UK MOD is procuring satellite communications services from the Astrium subsidiary Paradigm Secure Communications up to at least 2022. Paradigm Secure Communications awarded Astrium the contract for supply of the Skynet 5 next-generation military satellite communications system.

Astrium is prime contractor to Paradigm for the design and build of the complete Skynet 5 system. This comprises four Skynet 5 spacecraft as well as a major upgrade of the fixed terrestrial infrastructure, networks and management systems in the UK and provision of over 160 satellite communications terminals. Skynet 5A was launched in March 2007, 5B in November 2007, and 5C in June 2008. Skynet 5D is under production.

The Skynet 5 satellites are based on the new high-power E3000 variant of Astrium’s well-proven Eurostar series which has accumulated over 400 years’ operational life. Each Skynet 5 spacecraft has a launch mass of around 5 tonnes, compared to 1.6 tonnes for Skynet 4F, and a payload power of 5kW, up to four times the power of Skynet 4.

The Skynet 5 system provides reliable secure voice and data communications for combined-operations in peacekeeping and under battlefield conditions. UK Armed Forces and other government organisations will benefit from regional steerable spot beams. The technologically advanced, fully-hardened Skynet 5 satellites carry advanced UHF and SHF communications payloads with 15 active channels and extensive channel-to-beam flexibility, as well as multiple antennas for global and regional beams.

The ground systems being delivered by Astrium as part of the Skynet 5 programme include 59 Reacher tactical vehicle-mounted units in various configurations, capable of standing up to the rigours of all-terrain transport and operation in harsh environments.

Summary
ParameterValue
Working Orbit:
GEO
Orbital Location:
25° East
Coverage:
Europe, Africa, Middle East
ApA at separation:
35977 km
PeA at separation:
249.7 km
Inc at separation:

Characteristics
Skynet 5D
Customer:
  • UK Ministry of Defense
Prime contractor:
  • EADS Astrium
Platform:
  • Eurostar-E3000S
Mass at Separation:
  • 4800 kg
Dry Mass:
  • ?
Stabilization:
  • 3 axis stabilized
Dimensions (stowed):
  • 4.5 x 2.9 x 3.7 m
Dimensions (deployed span):
  • 34 m
On-board power:
  • 6+kW at end of life
Communication Payload:
  • X-band transponders
Life time:
  • 15 years
Transponders coverage:
 
 

PAYLOAD 2

Mexsat Bicentenario (Mexsat-3) communication satellite:



Mission Summary

Orbital was selected by the Boeing Company to provide the Fixed Satellite Services (FSS) segment of the Mexsat satellite system for the Federal Government of Mexico. The Mexsat system is a three satellite system consisting of two Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) spacecraft designed and built by Boeing (Mexsat Centenario & Mexsat Morelos 3) and one FSS satellite, Mexsat Bicentenario, designed and built by Orbital.

Mexsat Bicentenario is based on Orbital’s GEOStar-2 platform and will generate approximately 3.5 kilowatts of payload power and carry 12 active extended Ku-band and 12 active extended C-band transponders. The spacecraft will provide communications services to Mexico and its surrounding waters from the 114.9 degrees West Longitude orbital slot. In addition to the Mexsat Bicentenario spacecraft, Orbital will also provide the FSS ground segment, including the satellite command and control ground equipment and software as well as training and operational documentation.

Summary
ParameterValue
Working Orbit:
GEO
Orbital Location:
114.9° West
Coverage:
Central America
ApA at separation:
35977 km
PeA at separation:
249.7 km
Inc at separation:

Characteristics
Mexsat-3
Customer:
  • Mexican Secretariat of Communications and Transportation
Prime contractor:
  • Orbital Sciences Corporation
Platform:
  • Star-2.4 Bus
Mass at Separation:
  • 2935 kg
Dry Mass:
  • ?
Stabilization:
  • 3-axis stabilized
Dimensions (stowed):
  • 4.9 x 2.5 x 3.3 m
On-board power:
  • 6.75 kW at end of life
Payloads:
  • 12 C-band transponders
  • 12 Ku-band transponders
Life time:
  • 16 years
Transponder coverage:
 
 
 

Launch Vehicle:

Characteristics
Ariane 5 ECA
Prime contractor:
  • EADS Astrium
Height:
50.5 m with upper stage and payload fairing
Diameter:
max 11.56 m
Liftoff mass:
780 metric tonnes
Payload mass:
~10 tonnes at GTO (1500 m/s to GEO)
SOLID ROCKET BOOSTER (EAP):
  • 2 X P241 motor
  • Empty 38 tonnes
  • Propellants 240 tonnes (HTPB)
  • Thrust in vacuum 700 tonnes of force
  • Thrust at sea level 509.9 tonnes of force
CRYOGENIC MAIN CORE STAGE (EPC):
  • 1 X Vulcain-2 engine
  • Empty 14.7 tonnes
  • Propellants 170 tonnes (LOX + LH2)
  • Thrust in vacuum 139 tonnes of force
  • Thrust at sea level 96 tonnes of force
CRYOGENIC UPPER STAGE (ESC-A):
  • 1 X HM7B engine
  • Empty 4.54 tonnes
  • Propellants 14.9 tonnes (LOX + LH2)
  • Thrust in vacuum 6.7 tonnes of force
Payload Fairing:
  • Diameter 5.4 m
  • Length 17 m
  • Mass 2675 kg

The vehicle's reliability statistics according to http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/log2012.html#rate:

Code:
================================================================ 
Vehicle     Successes/Tries Realzd Pred  Consc. Last     Dates    
                             Rate  Rate* Succes Fail    
================================================================
Ariane 5-ECA     37    38    .97  .95     37    12/11/02 2002-
Ariane VA211 Ascent Profile

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 9411 meters/second, and will be at an altitude of about 584.7 kilometers.
The fairing protecting the Skynet 5D and Mexsat Bicentenario spacecraft is jettisoned shortly after the boosters are jettisoned at about T+203 seconds.

Ariane VA211 Ascent Timeline

EventTime rel lift-offTime UTCComment (altitude, velocity)
Start of synchronized sequence-00:07:0021:42:00 
Ignition of the cryogenic main stage engine (EPC)00:00:0021:49:00 
Liftoff (Ignition of solid boosters)00:00:07.321:49:07.30 km 0 m/s
End of vertical climb and beginning of pitch rotation (10 seconds duration)00:00:12.721:49:12.70.1 km 35.0 m/s
Beginning of roll manoeuvre00:00:1721:49:170.3 km 69.9 m/s
Jettisoning of solid boosters00:02:2221:51:2266.4 km 2013 m/s
Payload Fairing Separation00:03:2321:52:23111.6 km 2262 m/s
Shut-down of main cryogenic stage00:09:0021:58:00220.7 km 6809 m/s
Separation of main cryogenic stage00:09:0621:58:06220.4 km 7313 m/s
Ignition of upper cryogenic stage (ESC-A)00:09:1021:58:10220.2 km 7315 m/s
Injection00:25:1022:14:10584.7 km 9411 m/s
Separation of Skynet 5D satellite00:27:0922:16:09858.7 km 9182 m/s
Separation of Sylda 500:34:3922:23:392362 km 8090 m/s
Separation of Mexsat Bicentenario satellite00:36:1322:25:132733.9 km 7859 m/s

Weather forecast for Kourou, French Guiana on December 19, 2012 (7 p.m.)
Partly cloudy with a chance of a thunderstorm and rain in the evening, then overcast with a chance of a thunderstorm and rain. Low of 23C. Winds from the East at 10 to 15 km/h. Chance of rain 60% with rainfall amounts near 10.7 mm possible.

TimeTempsDew PointWind ChillRelative HumidityPrecipSnowCloud coverPressureWindWeather
6 PM28°C23°C31°C73%20%0%62%1008 hPa13 km/h ENE Chance of a Thunderstorm

References
http://www.arianespace.com
http://www.videocorner.tv
http://www.astrium.eads.net/en/programme/skynet-5-.html
http://www.orbital.com/SatellitesSpa...ions/Mexsat-3/
http://www.arianespace.com/images/la...tenario-GB.pdf
http://english.wunderground.com
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com
http://www.satlaunch.net
http://www.spacelaunchreport.com
http://space.skyrocket.de
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:08 PM   #5
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EADS Astrium: ARIANE 5 - Data relating to Flight 211 (PDF)
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:26 PM   #6
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I'm too tired right now to choose the right photos for the thread, so enjoy the ~300 photos on the launch flow of this launch at http://www.flickr.com/photos/pkpro/s...7632067796626/ !
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:32 PM   #7
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And the live broadcast is on at Arianespace TV!
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:59 PM   #8
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NASASpaceflight: Ariane 5 ECA launches Skynet 5D and Mexsat 3/Bicentenario
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:25 PM   #9
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Both passengers separated successfully.
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