Arianespace’s launch cadence continues: the Ariane 5 arrives for a September dual-payload mission with NBN Co 1A and ARSAT-2
Arianespace is maintaining its 2015 mission pace as components for another Ariane 5 have arrived in French Guiana – with the latest heavy-lift vehicle scheduled to orbit two telecommunications spacecraft during September: NBN Co 1A for Australia’s National Broadband Network, and ARSAT-2 for Argentinean satellite operator ARSAT.
The launcher elements were delivered this week aboard the MN Toucan, which is one of two roll-on/roll-off sea-going vessels utilized for the transportation of launch vehicle stages from Europe to South America for Arianespace missions. They subsequently were unloaded for transfer by road to the nearby Spaceport.
NBN Co 1A is one of two satellites whose launches are entrusted to Arianespace by the National Broadband Network for high-speed broadband service. They will provide fast internet to up to 200,000 homes, farms and businesses in remote parts of the country at speeds that city residents currently take for granted.
SSL (Space Systems Loral) produced NBN Co 1A using the company’s SSL 1300 platform, with a design service lifetime of 15 years or more.
Joining this satellite on Arianespace’s September dual-payload mission is ARSAT-2, which will provide ARSAT with a wide range of telecommunications, data transmission, Internet and television services – primarily across the Americas, ranging from Argentina to Canada.
Argentine company INVAP was contracted to build ARSAT-2, with Europe’s Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space as leading equipment suppliers. Its “sister” spacecraft, ARSAT-1, was launched by Arianespace in October 2014.
The Ariane 5 launch this September with NBN Co 1A and ARSAT-2 is designated Flight VA226 in Arianespace’s numbering system, signifying the 226th mission with an Ariane vehicle since this family of launchers entered operation in 1979.