A truly “epic” satellite arrives in French Guiana for its Ariane 5 launch
The Intelsat 29e relay platform for Arianespace’s first Ariane 5 flight of 2016 is now in French Guiana, enabling payload preparations to begin for a January 27 flight from the Spaceport.
Intelsat 29e is moved into position for an initial integration check with its Ariane 5 adapter during activity in the Spaceport’s S5 payload preparation facility.
Touching down at Cayenne’s Félix Eboué Airport, this passenger – the first of the Intelsat EpicNG high throughput satellites – was delivered to French Guiana aboard a chartered Antonov An-124 cargo aircraft, then transferred by road to the Spaceport.
The Boeing-built Intelsat 29e is now set to undergo final checkout and integration with the launcher ahead of next month’s liftoff from the South American launch facility – where Arianespace operates its family of the heavy-lift Ariane 5, medium-weight Soyuz and light-lift Vega vehicles.
As the 56th Intelsat spacecraft to be orbited by Arianespace, Intelsat 29e has the distinction of being a solo telecommunications satellite on a dedicated Ariane 5 flight – instead of the typical two-passenger configuration for the launcher on missions to geostationary transfer orbit.
The Ariane 5 flight with Intelsat 29e is designated Flight VA228 in Arianespace’s numbering system, representing the 228th launch of an Ariane since this series of European vehicles entered service in 1979.