The fourth Ariane 5 for launch in 2015 is received by Arianespace at the Spaceport
Arianespace has received the Ariane 5 for its fourth heavy-lift flight of 2015 with the transfer of this assembled launcher to the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building – where the mission’s EUTELSAT 8 West B and Intelsat 34 satellite payloads will be installed.
Today’s rollout from the Launcher Assembly Building marked the Ariane 5’s handover from prime contractor Airbus Safran Launchers to Arianespace, and is another milestone leading to the planned liftoff on August 20 from French Guiana.
Arianespace will now oversee the payload integration, with Intelsat 34 to be installed as the Ariane 5’s lower passenger, and the larger EUTELSAT 8 West B positioned as the upper passenger.
Eutelsat Communications’ EUTELSAT 8 West B is a 5.8-metric-ton-class relay platform built by Thales Alenia Space, featuring 40 operational Ku-band transponders that will bring powerful new satellite broadcasting resources to the Middle East and North Africa – primarily to serve direct-to-home markets. It also will introduce a C-band mission to the 8 deg. West orbital slot, with 10 operational transponders connecting to footprints covering the African continent and reaching to South America.
Intelsat 34 was produced for Intelsat by SSL (Space Systems Loral) to meet media distribution requirements of leading programmers for Latin America. In addition, the spacecraft will support advanced broadband service to maritime and aeronautical providers serving the North Atlantic. This spacecraft is based on the SSL 1300 platform, which includes the SPT-100 electric propulsion system.
The August 20 mission is designated Flight VA225 in Arianespace’s numbering system, and follows the previous three Ariane 5 launches in 2015: Flight VA224 on July 15 (with the Star One C4 and MSG-4 satellites), Flight VA223 on May 27 (carrying DirecTV-15 and SKY México-1), and Flight VA222 on April 26 (with THOR 7 and SICRAL 2).
Arianespace also has performed two light-lift Vega missions to date in 2015: Flight VV05 on June 22, and February 11’s Flight VV04; along with one utilizing its medium-weight Soyuz vehicle (Flight VS11 on March 27).