Launcher buildup completed: DIRECTV-14 and GSAT-16 are both integrated for this week’s Ariane 5 liftoff
The Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s upcoming flight from French Guiana is now complete following integration of its two satellite passengers: DIRECTV-14 for operator DIRECTV, and the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) GSAT-16 – both of which will be orbited on this heavy-lift mission planned for December 4.
Christophe Bardou, Arianespace’s DIRECTV-14 Program Director, puts his signature on the Ariane 5 payload fairing.
Encapsulated in the ogive-shaped protective fairing, DIRECTV-14 has been positioned atop GSAT-16 – which was installed on the launcher’s cryogenic core stage during activity inside the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building for Ariane 5.
These successful integration steps enable a new series of preparation milestones to begin. They include the launch readiness review on December 2, which is to be followed by Ariane 5’s rollout to the ELA-3 launch zone the next day.
Liftoff is scheduled during a 1-hr., 10-min. launch window opening on December 4 at 5:38 p.m. local time in French Guiana, with the two spacecraft to be deployed on a flight lasting approximately 32 minutes.
Ariane 5 will deliver a payload lift performance of more than 10,200 kg. during the mission, which includes a combined total of some 9,480 kg. for DIRECTV-14 and GSAT-16, plus the launch vehicle’s dual-passenger dispenser system and satellite integration hardware.
After the related DIRECTV-14 and GSAT-16 payload graphics were applied to the launcher’s payload fairing, the various satellite team members made their mark – adding personal signatures and other messages ahead of Ariane 5’s December 4 liftoff.