Arianespace's upcoming Ariane 5 mission been given the go-ahead for a liftoff on October 13, with a dual payload.
An Ariane 5 Generic vehicle will carry France's Syracuse 3A military telecommunications satellite, along with the multi-mission Galaxy 15 commercial telecom platform for PanAmSat of the U.S.
The launch of the Syracuse 3A, initially scheduled for May, had been postponed indefinitely to the irritation of the French defense ministry, for which the satellite's orbit is a priority this year.
The military communications satellite left France on May 4 for the launch base in Kourou after having aced its flight aptitude test.
The Syracuse system was developed in 1985, since which several versions of the satellite have been adopted.
Syracuse 3, a satellite packed with electronics reserved for the exclusive use of the French military, is designed to reinforce communications security and is said to be particularly effective against attempted interference.
The Galaxy 15 satellite will provide carry an additional L-band payload as part of the U.S Federal Aviation Administration's Geostationary Communications and Control Segment (GCCS) program.
Galaxy 15 will relay Global Positioning Systems (GPS) navigation to in-flight aircraft, providing highly accurate guidance to pilots at airports and airstrips where there is currently no precision landing capability.
Copyright 2005 by Space Daily, Distributed United Press International
Explore further: Study of equatorial ridge on Iapetus suggests exogenic origin