The mission pace continues: DIRECTV-15 arrives for Arianespace’s heavy-lift Ariane 5 flight in May
The Spaceport is continuing its sustained mission pace in support of Arianespace’s 2015 launch schedule, with the initial payload having now arrived in French Guiana for another of its heavy-lift Ariane 5 missions.
DIRECTV-15 was delivered to French Guiana yesterday aboard a chartered Antonov An-124 cargo jetliner that landed at Félix Eboué Airport near the capital city of Cayenne. Protected in a 14-meter-long shipping container, the broadcast relay satellite was unloaded and transferred by road to the Spaceport, where it now is being readied for pre-launch checkout in the S5 payload preparation facility.
This spacecraft will be one of two passengers for an Arianespace heavy-lift mission in May, which is designated VA223 in the company’s numbering system.
The DIRECTV-15 satellite was built by Airbus Defence and Space and will have a liftoff mass of approximately 6,200 kg. As one of the most powerful broadcast satellites ever built for the United States (with an 18-kW end-of-life power), the relay platform will provide additional services for more than 20 million customers of DIRECTV – a world-leading digital television entertainment services provider.