The Horizons 3e satellite is fueled for a history-making dual-passenger flight on Ariane 5
The Horizons 3e telecommunications satellite has been fueled at the Spaceport in French Guiana, readying it for the 100th launch of a heavy-lift Ariane 5 – which also will carry the Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38 relay platform on this milestone Arianespace flight planned for September 25.
Fueling activity for Horizons 3e occurred in the Spaceport’s S5 payload preparation facility, readying the spacecraft for its subsequent integration in the upper position of Ariane 5’s dual-payload configuration.
The upcoming mission to geostationary transfer orbit is designated Flight VA243 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system.
A dual-passenger delivery
Horizons 3e is owned by a joint venture of Intelsat and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation. Built by Boeing using Intelsat’s EpicNG design, it will provide coverage for aeronautical and maritime mobility, fixed and wireless operators, as well as mobility and government customers. In addition, Horizons 3e is the first satellite in Intelsat’s EpicNG spacecraft series to feature entire Ku-band spot beams utilizing multiport amplifiers that optimize power across the spacecraft.
Horizons 3e is “topped off” in the Spaceport’s S5 payload preparation facility, readying the Boeing-built satellite for its integration on Ariane 5.
The Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38 co-passenger to be orbited by Flight VA243 from Ariane 5’s lower passenger position was produced by SSL, and is designed to provide a range of telecommunications relay duties at the service of its two operators – Intelsat and Azercosmos, a company owned by the government of Azerbaijan Republic.
For Azercosmos, the satellite will support growing demand for Direct-to-Home (DTH), government, and network services in Europe, Central and South Asia, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. For the Luxembourg-headquartered Intelsat, it is to deliver continuity of service from the 45 deg. East longitude orbital location, which provides DTH platforms for Central and Eastern Europe as well as the Asia-Pacific region, while also offering connectivity for corporate networks and government applications in Africa.
Ariane 5 reaches the “century mark” with Flight VA243
As the largest vehicle in Arianespace’s launcher family, Ariane 5 is a true workhorse – performing missions that range from low-Earth and geostationary transfer orbits to escape trajectories that place spacecraft on their way for the exploration of deep space.
Delivered to Arianespace by industrial prime contractor ArianeGroup, Ariane 5 is operated from the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch complex in French Guiana.
For Flight VA243, the Ariane 5 ECA configuration will be used, equipped with a cryogenic upper stage. This is the configuration utilized on missions to geostationary transfer orbit, typically carrying a payload of two telecommunications satellite passengers.