A “mirror image” payload refueling for Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 mission
The two “sister” satellites for Arianespace’s upcoming Ariane 5 flight are poised for their fueling at the Spaceport this week, marking a new milestone in preparations for Arianespace’s May 15 mission from French Guiana.
Both payloads on this heavy-lift launch – JCSAT-13, produced for SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation of Japan; and VINASAT-2, manufactured for Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group of Vietnam – are Lockheed Martin spacecraft based on the company’s A2100 geosynchronous spacecraft series. They are the milestone 100th and 101st commercial geostationary communications satellites built by Lockheed Martin.
These two relay platforms will be fueled in parallel activities that benefit from the processing capacity in clean room facilities at the Spaceport’s state-of-the-art S5 payload preparation center, according to Arianespace Mission Director Thierry Wilmart. JCSAT-13 is in the S5B hall for its fueling “top off” process, while VINASAT-2 has been located in the adjacent S5A hall.
JCSAT-13 is configured with an all Ku-band payload, comprising 44 high-power communication channels with uplink and downlink coverage over Japan, Indonesia, the Middle and Near East, Southwest Asia and Oceania. Designed for a 15-year operating lifetime, it will be located at 124 degrees East longitude after deployment by Ariane 5.
VINASAT-2 – Lockheed Martin’s second satellite built for Vietnam – will provide fixed satellite service to Vietnam and neighboring countries. It features 24 Ku-band channels providing uplink and downlink coverage, and will be positioned at 131.8 degrees East longitude. VINASAT-2 has a design life of 15 years, with additional fuel reserves to maximize maneuver life.
The Ariane 5 mission with JCSAT-13 and VINASAT-2 will be the 206th flight of an Ariane vehicle, and therefore carries the VA206 designation in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering.