*Astrium is the prime contractor for Ariane 5, the world’s most reliable commercial launcher in service today
*Ariane Flight 208 placed a world record 10.2 tonnes in geostationary transfer orbit, 130 kg more than the previous record, at the same cost
*Two new flight computers were deployed, increasing the performance of the European launcher’s “nerve centre”
Astrium, Europe’s leading space technology company, has completed the 50th consecutive successful launch of Ariane 5, extending its existing world record for launchers currently in service.
This flight is the first to feature two new flight computers. Offering four times more memory and 10 times faster computing power, the computers enhance the launcher’s flight reliability and responsiveness.
The launch also set a new world record for geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) payload capacity of nearly 10.2 tonnes, 130 kg more than the previous record. The two satellites respectively weighed 6,100 kg and 3,300 kg, in addition to the remaining weight of the transponders and the SYLDA dual launch system, some 780 kg.
“Without this steady increase in the capacity of Ariane 5, it would not have been possible to send these two satellites into orbit in a single launch,” said a delighted Michel Freuchet, Astrium Space Transportation’s Director of Launchers. “We’re not going to stop here either. When Ariane 5 ME becomes operational in 2017, the European launcher will be capable of placing more than 12 tonnes in geostationary orbit.
See the full article at EADS