Arabsat-6B and GSAT-15 are readied for Arianespace’s Ariane 5 liftoff next month
Pre-launch activity at the Spaceport for Arianespace’s November 10 Ariane 5 mission is gearing up – with both satellite passengers undergoing preparations in French Guiana.
Designated Flight VA227 in Arianespace’s numbering system, the upcoming heavy-lift flight will orbit Arabsat-6B along with GSAT-15 on the company’s 10th overall mission in 2015 and sixth launch of Ariane 5 this year.
Arabsat-6B has been topped off for flight, following completion of fueling inside the S3B payload preparation facility in French Guiana. Following this step, the telecommunications satellite will be transferred to the Final Assembly Building and subsequently integrated with Ariane 5 as the mission’s upper passenger.
The Arabsat-6B satellite is being lofted for Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space as part of a turnkey contract with Arabsat, an Arab League intergovernmental organization. Once in orbit, it will be operated as BADR-7 by Arabsat and provide telecommunications and TV broadcast services for the Middle East and Africa.
In other payload preparation activity, pre-flight checkout is underway for GSAT-15 inside the S1B preparation hall with antenna reflector deployment testing. The Indian Space Research Organisation-developed GSAT-15 – which will be riding in Ariane 5’s lower position – is to offer C- and Ku-band telecommunications services.
Arianespace has performed nine successful launches to date this year with its complete launcher family from French Guiana: five with Ariane 5, and two missions each for the light-lift Vega and medium-weight Soyuz vehicles.