AMOS-2 Satellite Launched Aboard Soyuz Rocket
Israel's AMOS 2
telecommunications satellite was successfully placed into
geostationary transfer orbit Sunday by Arianespace/Starsem Flight
ST12 - which used a Soyuz/Fregat vehicle launched from Baikonur
Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The 3029-pound AMOS 2 was deployed from the Fregat upper stage
approximately 6 hours 47 minutes after the liftoff from Baikonur
Cosmodrome's Launch Pad #6, which occurred at 2:30 a.m. local time
(21h30 GMT, 10:30 p.m. at Paris, and 11:30 p.m. in Tel Aviv).
A total of three burns of the Fregat stage were performed prior
to AMOS 2's injection into geostationary transfer orbit.
AMOS 2 was designed and built by the MBT Space Division of
Israel Aircraft Industries, and is equipped with a payload of
Ku-band transponders for direct-to-home video broadcasting,
Internet and data transmissions. The three-axis stabilized
spacecraft has a design lifetime of 12 years.
To be co-located at an orbital position of 4 deg. West along
with the AMOS 1 spacecraft (which was launched by Arianespace in
1996), AMOS 2 will provide telecommunications operator Spacecom
Ltd. with additional relay capacity over Europe, the Middle East
and the U.S. East Coast.
"We would like to
especially thank Starsem and Arianespace, which have spared no
effort for this launch, handled with exemplary professionalism,"
said Joseph Weiss, General Manager of Israel Aircraft Industries'
Space Division. "I will not soon forget the majestic vision of
Soyuz as it lifted off."
AMOS 2 originally was scheduled for an Ariane 5 launch, but was
switched to Soyuz/Fregat in a decision with the client and as a
result of the flexible Arianespace/Starsem launcher family
"On behalf of Starsem and Arianespace I would like to thank IAI
for its renewed confidence," Starsem Chairman and CEO Jean-Marie
Luton said after the ST12 mission's successful completion. "I also
would like to thank our Russian partners for this first success to
GTO orbit with the prestigious Soyuz launch vehicle."
ST12 marked the 12th mission for Starsem, which has
responsibility for commercialization and operation of Soyuz in the
international marketplace. Starsem's shareholders are Arianespace,
EADS, the Russian Aviation and Space Agency (Rosaviacosmos) and the
Samara Space Center.
Sunday morning's launch was the 1,684th mission for a Soyuz