A European heavy lift launcher is set to deliver two communications satellites into earth orbit on Wednesday, including the first satellite built for use by the private sector of Africa.
The two satellites -- Yahsat Y1A and Intelsat New Dawn -- will be placed into a geostationary orbit to begin a fifteen year life to provide direct communications to the public and government's of multiple countries.
Lift-off of the Ariane 5 rocket with it's dual-stack of satellites from Kourou, French Guiana is planned for Wednesday at 5:45:07 p.m. EDT (9:45 p.m. GMT) -- the start of a 67 minute launch window.
The Yahsat Y1A satellite for Al Yah Satellite Communications Company will operate over the Indian Ocean near the coastline of Somalia to relay both communications and data streams to homes, businesses and government buildings in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The Yahsat Y1A will also relay high-definition television and high speed Internet through it's 25 KU-Band and 14-C-Band transponders.
Al Yah stated to this reporter that Y1A "will be followed by the launch of Y1B in the second half of 2011".
Y1A will be the first satellite for Al Yah which is a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi government’s strategic investment buisness Mubadala Development Company.
Yahsat will become the first satellite for UAE with a secure Ka-band transponder to support private military communications within it's footprint.
Located in the United Arab Emirate's capital, Abu Dhabi, Mubadala is currently sponsoring several UAE students in training at a few NASA facilities across America.
The Orbital Sciences-built Intelsat New Dawn satellite (above, on March 22) will be used by Africa's private companies, and provide wireless telecommunications, multimedia content, and broadband Internet from it's location over Lake Victoria in central Africa.
New Dawn will use 24 Ku-Band and 28 C-Band transponders set at 36 MHz in support of high speed data flow.
Five hours prior to launch, the control team will begin loading the super cold liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen fuels into the main stage of the Ariane 5.
As the countdown marches toward launch, communications and data checks with the payloads and the rocket's instruments will be checked.
The Ariane 5's core single Vulcain 2 engine will then ignite seven seconds prior to launch, and brought up to proper thrust.
The rocket's twin solid fueled boosters will then ignite releasing the several million pounds of thrust and pushing 22,187 pounds of payload upward and faster to escape earth's gravity.
The Ariane will begin a four-second pitch program high over the Atlantic coastline twelve seconds after lift-off to begin the craft's eastward heading toward a 6-degree inclination.
Soaring about 42 miles above the southern Atlantic waters, the twin booster rockets will empty their fuel and separate 150 seconds into it's flight.
One minute later, the rocket's protective payload fairing will split vertically and fall away as the Ariane enters the first traces of space.
Nearly nine minutes after departing Kourou, the Vulcain 2 engine will shutdown and the main stage will separate, and the engine of the second stage will begin it's burn for several minutes.
The satellite duo will arrive into it's injection elliptical orbit of 155 by 22,345 miles.
Geostationary orbit is an orbital plane above the equator located 22,250 miles over a fixed location, and will stay at that one fixed location until acted upon by a force.
Twenty-seven minutes after launch, Yahsat Y1A will separate from the rocket's upper stage as it soars 292 miles above earth.
New Dawn will then separate and fly free eight minutes later as the upper stage swings the satellite higher in it's elliptical orbit 1,582 miles above the planet.
The next Ariane 5 launch is planned for mid-May with another pair of satellites.