Payload preparations are in full swing for Arianespace's upcoming Ariane 5 mission in September
August 22, 2012 – Ariane Flight VA209
The ASTRA 2F satellite to be orbited on Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 mission is now undergoing pre-flight checkout, joining its GSAT-10 co-passenger at the Spaceport launch site in French Guiana.
Built by the Astrium division of EADS for Luxembourg-based SES, ASTRA 2F was removed from its shipping container in the Spaceport’s S1B clean room, where the relay platform arrived after being delivered to French Guiana yesterday by a chartered cargo jetliner.
ASTRA 2F is a six metric ton-class platform that carries Ku- and Ka-band payloads for the relay of high performance Direct-to-Home (DTH) and next-generation broadband services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
It will be lofted by Arianespace’s Ariane 5 mission on September 21 along with GSAT-10, which continues its own preparation activity at the Spaceport. GSAT-10 was produced by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) using the I-3K satellite bus, and has an estimated liftoff mass of 3,400 kg.
This upcoming mission will be the 65th flight of an Ariane 5 from French Guiana, and the fifth so far in 2012 for the workhorse Arianespace heavy-lift launcher.