Ariane 5 reaches the launch zone for Arianespace’s fourth heavy-lift flight in 2013
Arianespace’s mission with the EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1 and GSAT-7 satellites is on track for liftoff tomorrow following the workhorse Ariane 5’s rollout to the ELA-3 launch zone at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.
Moving atop one of two mobile launch tables in service for Ariane 5, the heavy-lift vehicle emerged from its Final Assembly Building under blue skies for transfer to the launch pad – where it was secured in place.
With this major step completed, final preparations can now begin for Ariane 5’s August 29 liftoff during a 50-minute launch window that opens at 5:30 p.m. local time in French Guiana.
This will be Arianespace’s fourth Ariane 5 flight conducted during 2013, with an estimated payload lift performance of 9,790 kg. – which includes a combined mass of some 8,960 kg. for EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1 and GSAT-7, plus the launcher’s dual-payload dispenser system and associated integration hardware.
Riding in the upper position of Ariane 5’s payload “stack” is the high-power, multi-mission EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1 relay platform, which will be released first in the flight sequence at 27 minutes following liftoff. It has a total mass of approximately 6,300 kg.
After being lofted by Ariane 5, the spacecraft will operate for Eutelsat Communications and Qatar’s Es’hailSat Satellite Company at an orbital location of 25.5 deg. East, from which it will deliver Ku-band television broadcasting, telecommunications and government services for the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. The Space Systems/Loral-built (SSL) satellite’s Ka-band capability will open business opportunities in these regions for both operators.
Tomorrow’s liftoff will mark a new milestone in the 30-year relationship between Eutelsat and Arianespace as the 27th launch performed together to date; while it will be Arianespace’s first at the service of Es’hailSat.
The GSAT-7 communications satellite – which was developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) using India’s standard I-2K spacecraft bus – has a liftoff mass of some 2,650 kg., and it will be deployed from Ariane 5’s lower passenger position at approximately 34 minutes into the flight.
To be positioned at 74 deg. East following its deployment by Ariane 5, GSAT-7 is to provide India with UHF, S-band, C-band and Ku-band relay capacity over the country’s land mass.
GSAT-7 will be the 17th ISRO spacecraft lofted by an Ariane-series vehicle, continuing a relationship that extends to the 1981 mission with the Apple experimental satellite. Arianespace also has launched two other satellites designed by India, for the operators Eutelsat and Avanti Communications.
Tomorrow’s mission is designated VA215, signifying the 215th launch of an Ariane family vehicle since 1979.