A payload fit-check for Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 mission from the Spaceport
Payload preparations for Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 mission have marked a new milestone in French Guiana, with the EUTELSAT 8 West B telecommunications satellite undergoing its initial fit-check with launcher hardware.
This important step during Arianespace Ariane 5 mission campaigns at the Spaceport validated the compatibility of Eutelsat Communications’ EUTELSAT 8 West B with the cone-shaped adapter that will be used in its integration on the heavy-lift launcher.
The EUTELSAT 8 West B satellite makes contact with the cone-shaped adapter that will be used in its integration on the workhorse Ariane 5 vehicle. This activity occurred in the Spaceport’s S5 payload preparation facility.
The activity occurred yesterday in the Spaceport’s S5 payload preparation building, where the other payload for Ariane 5’s upcoming launch – Intelsat 34 – also is undergoing processing in the same multi-hall facility.
On the upcoming mission – scheduled for August 20, and designated Flight VA225 in Arianespace’s numbering system – EUTELSAT 8 West B will occupy the upper passenger position in Ariane 5’s dual-payload configuration. The 5.8-metric-ton-class relay platform was built by Thales Alenia Space and is designed to bring powerful new satellite broadcasting resources for Eutelsat Communications to the Middle East and North Africa – equipped with 40 operational Ku-band transponders primarily to serve direct-to-home (DTH) markets.
Also to be introduced with EUTELSAT 8 West B is a C-band mission to the 8 deg. West geostationary orbital slot, with 10 operational transponders connected to footprints covering the African continent and reaching west to South America.
EUTELSAT 8 West B will be joined on Arianespace’s Flight VA225 by Intelsat 34, built by SSL (Space Systems Loral) for Intelsat, which will have a liftoff mass of more than three metric tons. Developed to meet the media distribution requirements of leading programmers for Latin America, Intelsat 34 also will support advanced broadband service to maritime and aeronautical providers serving the North Atlantic.
With the upcoming Flight VA225, Arianespace is maintaining its sustained mission pace in 2015. In parallel, payload and launch vehicle activity is underway for three other missions with the company’s complete launcher family: Soyuz Flight VS12, scheduled for September 10 with two spacecraft for the European Commission’s Galileo satellite navigation program; Ariane 5 Flight VA226, also planned during September, carrying NBN Co 1A for Australia’s National Broadband Network and ARSAT-2 for Argentinean satellite operator ARSAT; and Vega Flight VV06 in late November on a European space science mission.