Arianespace has won three contracts to launch the Agrani 2, DirecTV 7S and iPStar satellites in 2003-4 aboard Ariane 5 boosters.

The 2,800kg (6,170lb) Alcatel Space-built Spacebus 3000A-based Agrani 2 will be equipped with 24 C-band and 14 Ku-band transponders, and positioned at 120¡E in geostationary orbit (GEO). The bus has been stored in the company's Cannes factory since 1997, having been built as Thaicom 4.

DirecTV 7S is a 5,500kg LS 1300 series satellite, built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) with 54 Ku-band transponders. It will be positioned at either 101°W or 119°W in GEO.

Shin Satellite's 6,700kg iPStar, also an LS 1300 SX bus built by SS/L, will be equipped with 87 Ku-band and 10 Ka-band transponders. Up to three more launch contracts are in final negotiation by Ariane.

Meanwhile, the delayed launch of the DirecTV 5 communications satellite aboard an International Launch Systems-operated Proton K booster from Baikonur took place on 7 May with the Block DM upper stage delivering its SS/L-built payload into geostationary transfer orbit.


Source: Flight International