Arianespace’s sixth Ariane 5 rocket of the year has reached its final preparation stage before lift-off later in October 2009.

The rocket will carry and place into orbit, a dual payload of an NSS-12 spacecraft and a THOR 6 satellite.

NSS-12 spacecraft for the satellite communications provider, SES WORLD SKIES is designed on Space Systems / Loral’s 1300 platform.

The satellite will replace NSS-703 and serve the Eastern Hemisphere with its 40 C-band transponders and 48 Ku-band transponders, to provide direct-to-home TV delivery power levels, elaborate beam interconnectivity and C/Ku-band cross-strapping.

The THOR 6 satellite, designed by Thales Alenia for Telenor Satellite Broadcasting, will offer high-power direct-to-home television service coverage.

The second payload is fitted 36 Ku-band transponders, 16 of which will serve the Nordic countries, while the other 20 will provide capacity for the growing demand within central and Eastern Europe.

It is based on Thales Alenia Space’s Spacebus 4000B2 spacecraft design.

The Ariane 5 launch vehicle is the sixth of the seven rockets scheduled for lift off in 2009.