Ariane 5 - Flight VA209
The 209th Ariane Mission – VA209 – will deliver two communications satellites to their desired transfer orbits. Astra 2F will provide commercial communications Coverage of Europe, Africa and the Middle East, wile the Indian GSAT-10 covers India and adjoining regions and also provides Navigation Capabilities. It will be the 65th launch of the powerful Ariane 5. The launch site will be ELA-3 at the Guiana Space Center, French Guiana. It will be the 5th Ariane 5 launch of 2012.
Astra 2F is a commercial Communications Satellite that was built by Astrium and will be operated by SES, Luxembourg. It is part of the SES ASTRA and SES WORLD SKIES divisions.
The Spacecraft is based on the Eurostar-3000 Platform and has a dry mass of 2,660 Kilograms and fueled/liftoff weight of 6,000 Kilograms. The spacecraft has two deployable solar arrays and on-board batteries for 13kW end-of-life power supply, a propulsion system that is used for Apogee Maneuvers and Orbit Maintenance, and a communications payload consisting of Ka- and Ku-band transponders. The satellite has a design life of 15 years and will operate from Geostationary Orbit at 28.2 degrees east. The spacecraft will provide coverage for Direct-to-Home (DTH) markets in the UK and Ireland with a dedicated spot beam. Both, spot beam and pan-European beams, are provided by Astra 2F to accommodate pay-TV and free-to-air broadcasters. Astra 2F provides coverage for Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
GSAT-10 is a communications satellite that was developed and built by the Indian Space Research Organization and Space Applications Center.
The vehicle is based on the I-3k satellite platform and has a mass of 3400.5 Kilograms of liftoff and a dry weight of 1493.5 Kilograms. In orbit, the vehicle is 3.1 by 1.77 by 2.0 meters in size. The spacecraft is three-axis-stabilized. The satellite has two deployable Solar Arrays and associated batteries for power generation of 6 kW. The Communications payload features 12 C-Band, 6 extended C-Band and 12 Ku-Band transponders as well as a GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation Payload. GAGAN is a regional GPS navigational system developed by India. The vehicle is equipped with a Liquid Apogee Motor that is used to achieve Geostationary Orbit. It will operate from a position of 83 degrees and provide India Land Mass and Wide Coverage.
The Countdown for a Launch of the Ariane 5 Rocket begins 11 hours and 30 minutes before the launch window opens. At L-7:30 final electrical checks will be made before Fueling starts just under 5 hours to liftoff. 90 Minutes into LOX and LH2 Tanking, the Vulcain Main Engine is being chilled down by the supercold propellants. 1 hour and 10 minutes prior to launch, final checks of all communication connections and telemetry links are conducted to ensure all Ground Tracking Stations are ready to support the mission. The Vehicle will be placed in a stable configuration for T-7 Minutes and Holding. The Launcher can remain in this configuration throughout the launch window. At T-7 Minutes and Counting, the Synchronized Sequence begins. Computers are watching all parameters of the vehicle and ground support equipment as final reconfigurations are made to put the Ariane in a launch configuration. Should any system show an off-nominal performance, the Computers will automatically recycle all systems to their T-7-Configuration to back out of the automated sequence. 4 Minutes prior to launch, all tanks of the first and second stage are being pressurized for flight. 1 Minute before T-0, the vehicle switches to onboard power. 30 Seconds before Ignition, Water begins flowing into the Flame Trenches. Hydrogen aspiration of the Vulcain engine starts 18 seconds before it is ignited. The Cryogenic arms that are used for critical connections including fuel lines are retracted. 4 seconds before the Ignition Sequence commences, the Handoff to Ariane’s onboard computers occurs and the Guidance System enters its flight mode one second later.
At T-0, the Vulcain Engine Ignition Sequence begins. Three pyrotechnic devices are used to ignite the main engine which reaches flight thrust at T+4.5 seconds. Engine performance is being monitored before the Solid Rocket Boosters are ignited at T+7.05 seconds. Liftoff occurs just a quarter of a second later. The two Solid Rocket Boosters provide 92% of total thrust at blastoff. The launcher climbs vertically for 6 seconds before the pitch maneuver begins which puts the rocket into the proper trajectory that is required to reach the targeted Main Engine Cutoff point.
_After 2 minutes and 21 seconds of powered flight, the SRBs burn out and are jettisoned to fall back to Earth and into the Atlantic Ocean. Immediately after SRB jettison, the onboard computers calculate the precise trajectory that is required to recover from minimal transients that are nominal for the SRB Phase. That course correction is conducted in real time by swivalling the main engine. The next Event is Payload Fairing Jettison. The Fairing is used to protect the Payloads from thermal loads during atmospheric flight. When heat levels are at an acceptable level, the fairing is jettisoned by pyrotechnically initiated separation tubes. Separating the fairing as early as possible increases ascent performance. At 9 minutes into the flight, the Vulcain Engine shuts down for first stage cutoff. Stages #1 and #2 separate from each other and the second stage with its HM-7B engine continue powered flight after the engine ignites. The first stage falls back to Earth and impacts off the coast of Africa in the Gulf of Guinea. The second stage will make its first burn before final engine cutoff. Afterwards, the stage re-orients itself to the proper attitude to release the first payload, which is the bigger of the two Satellites, Astra 2F. When the first Spacecraft Separation is successful, the coast phase continues with more orientation maneuvers and the separation of the Sylda 5. This is a fairing like object that is used to install two payloads on top of the rocket. The first payload is mounted atop the Sylda and the second satellite is hidden beneath it until the first payload is released. With Sylda Separation, the path is clear to jettison the second and final payload, GSAT-10, into its targeted orbit. The second stage continues its mission for several minutes during which it performs reorientation maneuvers and avoidance firings. After second stage passivation, Ariane’s mission is complete. The two satellites will then be in a geostationary transfer orbit that will be optimized when the spacecraft fire their individual engines to reach a precise position.
Injection Orbit: 249.5 by 35,937 Kilometers - Inclination: 6 Degrees
Injection Orbit: 249.5 by 35,937 Kilometers - Inclination: 6 Degrees
|Time||Event||Altitude (km)||Velocity (m/s)|
|0:00:00.00||Vulcain Engine Ignition Sequence||0||0|
|0:00:07.05||Solid Rocket Booster Ignition||0||0|
|0:02:21.00||SRB Burnout and Jettison||67.500||2003.0|
|0:03:17.00||Payload Fairing Jettison||109.700||2252.0|
|0:08:02:00||Acquisition by Natal Tracking Station||167.400||5528.0|
|0:08:59.00||Core Stage shutdown||164.700||6907.0|
|0:09:09.00||2nd Stage Ignition||164.800||6935.0|
|0:13:45.00||Acquisition by Ascension Tracking Station||151.000||7583.0|
|0:18:28.00||Acquisition by Libreville Tracking Station||183.000||8330.0|
|0:23:12.00||Acquisition by Malindi Tracking Station||427.100||9045.0|
|0:25:20.00||Second Stage Shutdown||660.700||9350.0|
|0:27:44.00||Astra 2F Release||968.700||9093.0|
|0:28:54.00||Sylda 5 Separation||1233.300||8884.0|
|0:46:09.00||Ariane 5 - End of Mission||5351.000||6521.0|