The go-ahead is given for Arianespace’s April 15 dual-satellite payload flight with Ariane 5
The “green light” has been given for this week’s heavy-lift Ariane 5 mission from the Spaceport in French Guiana, which is to orbit a dual-passenger payload consisting of two telecommunications satellites: THOR 7 and Sicral 2.
Approval for the flight was issued following today’s launch readiness review, which is held prior to every Arianespace mission – confirming the “go” status of the launcher and its payload, the Spaceport’s infrastructure, as well as the system of downrange tracking stations.
Logos for Flight VA222’s two passengers are installed on the Ariane 5 payload fairing in this photo from the upper level of the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building.
With today’s review, the Ariane 5 is now cleared for rollout tomorrow from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone – where it will be readied for liftoff on April 15 during a 1-hr., 54-min. launch window opening at 4:43 p.m. local time in French Guiana.
The payload lift performance for this first Ariane 5 mission of 2015 – which is designated VA222 in Arianespace’s numbering system – is approximately 9,850 kg. It includes a combined total of some 9,000 kg. for THOR 7 and Sicral 2, along with the launcher’s SYLDA dual-passenger dispenser system and satellite integration hardware.
THOR 7 was built by SSL (Space Systems/Loral) for operation by Telenor Satellite Broadcasting, and it will serve the maritime sector – offering high-powered coverage over the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea, the Red Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean. Also incorporated in this relay platform is a Ku-band payload for broadcast and television services in Central and Eastern Europe.
Sicral 2 is a military telecommunications satellite developed 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, while Telespazio is responsible for the launch service.
After its deployment by Ariane 5, Sicral 2 will provide strategic and tactical telecommunications links for French and Italian military forces, as well as reserve capacity for other NATO nations.