French Guiana welcomes the THOR 7 spacecraft for launch by Ariane 5
The THOR 7 satellite for Arianespace’s first Ariane 5 mission in 2015 has arrived in French Guiana, marking the start of payload preparations for this dual-passenger flight from the Spaceport – which is scheduled for an April liftoff.
In preparation activity for Arianespace’s mission, THOR 7 is lowered for its fit-check process inside the Spaceport’s S5C clean room facility.
THOR 7 – produced by SSL (Space Systems/Loral) for Telenor Satellite Broadcasting (TSBc) – was delivered this month by a cargo jetliner, which landed at Félix Eboué International Airport near the capital city of Cayenne. Following unloading, the spacecraft was transferred by road for initial processing, including a “fit-check” validation with the adapter that will serve as its interface with Ariane 5, inside the Spaceport’s S5C clean room facility.
Based on the SSL 1300 platform, THOR 7 is equipped with 11 Ku-band transponders in order to provide dedicated capacity for broadcast services in Central and Eastern Europe. It also includes a Ka-band payload, which will be used to meet the growing demand for broadband communications within the offshore sector – offering coverage over the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea, the Red Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean.
THOR 7 will be the second satellite launched for Telenor Satellite Broadcasting by Arianespace, following the October 2009 orbiting of THOR 6 – which also utilized a heavy-lift Ariane 5.
Joining THOR 7 on Arianespace’s April mission is the Sicral 2 military telecommunications satellite, to be launched in the framework of a turnkey contract that the Italian Defense Ministry and the French DGA armament agency (Direction Générale de l’Armement) have with Thales Alenia Space Italy. It will provide strategic and tactical telecommunications links for the French and Italian military forces, as well as reserve telecommunications capacity for other NATO nations. Telespazio, among other things, is responsible for the launch service.