Thor 6 for Ariane’s 6th 2009 mission
Telenor Satellite Broadcasting’s Thor 6 craft is being placed in its final stages of readiness ahead of its launch later this year. TSB has also confirmed that the new satellite will be launched by Ariane.
Thor 6 will be launched by its Ariane 5 ECA launcher from the Guiana Space Center as part of Arianespace’s sixth launch mission for 2009. The Ariane 5 ECA is able to carry two satellites into geostationary transfer orbit on a single mission and the co-passenger will be the NSS12 satellite from SES New Skies.
“At this stage, Thor 6 is secure and will remain in storage at the Thales facilities in Cannes until we have a confirmed launch window,” said Peter Olsen, Thor 6 project manager. “The excitement and tension is growing by the day as we inch closer to the final countdown of the Thor 6 mission.”
The current schedule states a launch in late October/early November, which would allow Thor 6 to commence commercial service at the end of December 2009 from 1 deg West.
Based on the Thales Alenia Space Spacebus 4000B2 platform and fitted with 36 active Ku-band transponders, Thor 6 will provide high power direct-to-home (DTH) television services from the 1 West orbital location. 16 transponders will point to the Nordic countries and 20 transponders will be positioned to serve the growing broadcasting demands within Central and Eastern Europe.
Thor 6 is expected to start services in 2009 with an operational lifetime of 15 years. It will replace Thor III, which is set to retire in 2010.