Skynet 5D

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Skynet 5D
Mission type Military communications
Operator Astrium Services
On behalf of British Ministry of Defence
COSPAR ID 2012-075A
Mission duration 15 years
Spacecraft properties
Bus Eurostar 3000S
Manufacturer Astrium
Launch mass 4,800 kilograms (10,600 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 19 December 2012, 21:49 (2012-12-19UTC21:49Z) UTC
Rocket Ariane 5ECA VA211
Launch site Kourou ELA-3
Contractor Arianespace
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Geostationary
Longitude 25° East

Skynet 5D is a military communications satellite operated by Astrium Services on behalf of the British Ministry of Defence. It was the last of four Skynet 5 satellites to be launched.

Spacecraft[edit]

The Skynet 5D spacecraft was constructed by Astrium, based on the Eurostar 3000S satellite bus. It had a mass at launch of approximately 4,800 kilograms (10,600 lb), and is designed to operated for at least 15 years.[1] Its 34-metre (112 ft) solar arrays will generate a minimum of 6 kilowatts[2] to power its UHF and X-band communications systems. The satellite's payload includes jamming countermeasures.[3]

Launch[edit]

Skynet 5D was launched by an Ariane 5ECA carrier rocket flying from ELA-3 at Kourou. The launch occurred at 21:49 UTC on 19 December 2012.[4] Skynet 5D was one of two satellites aboard the rocket, the other being Mexsat Bicentenario, which was located below it; Skynet 5D was mounted atop a Sylda 5 adaptor.[2]

Orbit[edit]

The launch placed Skynet 5D into a geosynchronous transfer orbit, from which was planned to raise itself into geostationary orbit.[4] The spacecraft was expected to be placed at a longitude of 25 degrees East.[2]


References[edit]

  1. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Skynet 5A, 5B, 5C, 5D". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 21 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "A Satellite Launch for the British MoD and Mexico". Arianespace. Retrieved 21 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "Skynet-5D: Military satellite's classified tech". BBC News. 19 December 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Bergin, Chris (19 December 2012). "Ariane 5 ECA launches Skynet 5D and Mexsat 3/Bicentenario". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved 21 December 2012.