A consortium of South African investors led by Convergence Partners, and comprising Altirah Telecoms and the Convergence Partners Foundation, has recently disposed of its 25.1% interest in the New Dawn joint venture to Intelsat S.A, its joint venture partner and the majority shareholder of New Dawn.
Convergence Partners Chairman, Andile Ngcaba, was named as TechCentral’s newsmaker of 2011 for his significant impact on South Africa’s technology sector over the past 12 months, topping an impressive list consisting of Pieter Uys, Mamodupi Mohlala, Karel Pienaar, Robert Gumede, Roy Padayachie, Lars Reichelt, Michael Jordaan, Pinky Moholi and Mteto Nyati.
On 22 April 2011?Intelsat S.A., the world’s leading provider of fixed satellite services, announced that Arianespace successfully launched the Intelsat New Dawn satellite. The Ariane 5 vehicle lifted off from Kourou, French Guiana, at 5:37 p.m. (EDT), followed by spacecraft separation from the launch vehicle at 6:12 p.m. and signal acquisition at 6:29 p.m.
The Intelsat New Dawn satellite is owned by a joint venture between a consortium led by Convergence Partners and Intelsat. The satellite’s 28 C-band and 24 Ku-band 36 MHz transponder units are designed specifically to supply critical communications infrastructure for African customers, who have experienced exceptional growth along with the development of the region.
Intelsat S.A., the world’s leading provider of fixed satellite services, announced today that the launch of the Intelsat New Dawn spacecraft aboard an Ariane 5 rocket, initially scheduled for launch on March 30, 2011, was scrubbed after the launch sequence was shut down automatically. The spacecraft is secure. Arianespace is going to review the data and make another launch attempt at a later date.
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.
Preparations on Track for March 30 Lift-Off of First African Private Sector Communications Satellite
Final preparations for the historic Intelsat New Dawn satellite launch are on track. On Wednesday, March 30, the satellite, loaded in an Ariane 5 rocket, is expected to be rolled from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone. It will be readied for lift-off that day during a launch window that opens at 6:45 p.m. local time in French Guiana (11:45 p.m. in South Africa), and continues to 7:52 p.m. (12:52 a.m. in South Africa). The project has also received a symbolic ‘boost’ from the image of Nelson Mandela’s signature, which is featured on the rocket’s fairing.
The New Dawn project was created through a unique joint venture between Intelsat and a South African investor group led by Convergence Partners, which also includes Altirah Telecoms and the not-for-profit Convergence Partners Foundation. The project was funded though a combination of equity from Intelsat and the Convergence Partners Consortium, and debt funding via an innovative structure that has maximized African participation in the project. Debt providers comprise Nedbank, the Industrial Development Corporation and the African Development Bank.
The Arianespace technician is finalizing the seam between the fairing and the Ariane 5 launcher.
This interface is composed of 420 bolts which hold the fairing onto the launcher.
Once the launcher reaches an altitude where the air density will not damage the satellite, the fairing is separated longitudinally along the slice line.
This splice line has an explosive device that allows the fairing to “peel away” as the launcher approaches the frontier of space.
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.