Convergence Partners is pleased to announce that the New Dawn Satellite has been rescheduled to Friday, April 22 at 17:37 p.m. (EDT) 23:37 p.m (SA time). The satellite, loaded on an Ariane 5 rocket, will be launched from the Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
The countdown has begun for the launch of the New Dawn satellite tonight. Intelsat has confirmed that everything is so far on schedule for the satellite’s launch aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from the Arianespace Launch Complex in Kourou, French Guiana, at about 23:45 South African time.
The Intelsat New Dawn satellite is owned by a joint venture between Intelsat and a consortium led by Convergence Partners.
One week to go to the launch, final preparations are taking place in French Guiana. Update on recent New Dawn activity:
22 March 2011
Technicians from manufacturer, Orbital Sciences Corporation, attached the satellite lift sling to Intelsat New Dawn and handed over the crane operations to launch provider, Arianespace. They lifted the satellite over 100 feet in the air and attached it to the top of the Ariane 5 launcher. Once the satellite was secured onto the adapter, the Orbital technicians powered up the satellite to verify its health. Everything is right on schedule for the 30th of March 2011 launch and the satellite is healthy!
The Intelsat New Dawn satellite left Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C., at 9 pm EST on Monday, 28 February, aboard Antonov, the largest transport aircraft in the world. After a six-hour flight, the airplane arrived at Rochambeau airport in Cayenne, French Guiana at 5 am local time on Tuesday, 1 March.
After settling down in the tarmac, the Antonov dramatically flipped up its nose, revealing the shipping container with Intelsat New Dawn inside. A rail system slid the shipping container out of the Antonov and a specially-designed crane loaded it onto a flat bed truck. The loading went smoothly and the spacecraft was ready to be transported to the Guiana Space Center (CSG) around 9 am. Darkness and occasional heavy rain made taking photos and travel a real challenge. The journey of approximately 60 miles took about 2 hours.
With only 28 days until launch, the Intelsat New Dawn Satellite was shipped overnight from Washington D.C. to Cayenne, French Guiana. The satellite recently left the Orbital Sciences Corporation manufacturing facility in Dulles, Virginia, and was flown on an Antonov airplane, arriving early morning local time in Cayenne. It will then be transported to Kourou, where it will be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket on 29 March 2011.
See the attached picture of the satellite being loaded for flight from the USA to French Guiana.
The Intelsat New Dawn satellite is scheduled to be launched on 29 March 2011 from Arianespace’s launch site in Kourou, French Guiana. Intelsat New Dawn is the first ever African private sector communications satellite.
A joint-venture between a consortium led by Convergence Partners and Intelsat S.A., the world’s leading provider of fixed satellite services, the New Dawn satellite and its 28 C-band and 24 Ku-band 36 MHz transponder units are designed specifically to supply critical communications infrastructure for African customers. Operating from a geostationary orbital slot at 32.8 degrees East, Intelsat New Dawn will be ideally positioned to serve Africa through a payload optimized to deliver wireless backhaul, broadband and media content – the fastest growing satellite-based applications in Africa.