Intelsat 33e arrives at the Spaceport for Arianespace’s August launch with Ariane 5
One of two Intelsat satellites that will be orbited on Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 mission has been delivered to the Spaceport, advancing pre-launch activities for this August 24 heavy-lift flight to the payload preparation phase.
Intelsat 33e “touched down” in French Guiana yesterday, arriving at Félix Eboué Airport near Cayenne aboard a chartered Antonov An-124 cargo jetliner. After unloading, the spacecraft was transferred by road to the Spaceport, where it was moved into the S5 payload processing facility for the start of pre-flight checkout.
The satellite was produced by Boeing Space Systems. Once in orbit, it will extend Intelsat’s high-throughput capacity in both C- and Ku-band from the Americas to include Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean regions. In addition, Intelsat 33e will deliver enterprise-grade, broadband services to aeronautical and maritime mobility service providers and users.
As the second spacecraft of the next-generation Intelsat EpicNG series, Intelsat 33e integrates one of the most advanced commercially-available digital payloads in the world. It has a liftoff mass estimated at 6,575 kg. and will operate from an orbital position of 60 deg. East following its launch by Ariane 5.
The first Intelsat EpicNG satellite, Intelsat 29e, was successfully delivered to geostationary transfer orbit on an Ariane 5 mission performed last January.
Joining Intelsat 33e on the dual-passenger August 24 flight is another satellite for Intelsat, Intelsat 36 – which was built by SSL (Space Systems Loral) and will enhance the international operator’s premier direct-to-home neighborhood in Africa. This spacecraft’s liftoff mass is estimated at 3,250 kg., and it is set to operate from a 68.5 deg. East orbital slot.
The upcoming Ariane 5 mission to geostationary transfer orbit with Intelsat 33e and Intelsat 36 is designated Flight VA232 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system, and will be performed from the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone in French Guiana.