Ariane 5 enters the final countdown for its flight with Intelsat 30 and ARSAT-1
The final countdown is underway for the Arianespace heavy-lift mission to loft two Latin American telecommunications satellites this evening.
Designated Flight VA220 in the company’s numbering system, tonight’s Ariane 5 mission is to be the heavy-lift vehicle’s fifth flight from the Spaceport to date in 2014 and its 76th total launch.
With liftoff set for a 51-minute launch window opening at 6 p.m. local time in French Guiana, Ariane 5 will carry out a 33 minute-plus mission to deploy its two passengers: Intelsat 30, which is hosting the DLA-1 payload, and ARSAT-1.
Intelsat 30 is fitted with 10 C-band transponders for operator Intelsat, along with a hosted Ku-band payload for DIRECTV, to provide telecommunications and distribution services to Latin America. As the mission’s upper passenger, this spacecraft – built by SSL (Space Systems/Loral) – will be released first in the flight sequence at nearly 28 minutes after launch.
Some six minutes later, the deployment of ARSAT-1 – the first geostationary satellite to be built in Argentina – from Ariane 5’s lower position will complete tonight’s mission. Fitted with 24 Ku-band transponders and produced by INVAP, ARSAT-1 is to deliver wide range of telecommunications, data transmission, telephone and television services for Argentina and neighboring countries.