Ariane 5 reaches the launch zone for Arianespace’s year-opening mission
The Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s Flight VA247 has reached the launch zone in French Guiana, positioning this vehicle for tomorrow’s dual-payload mission with Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1/Hellas Sat 4 (HS-4/SGS-1) and GSAT-31.
Riding atop a mobile launch table, Ariane 5 today completed its transfer from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building – where its two passengers were integrated – to the dedicated ELA-3 launch complex. This paves the way for tomorrow’s liftoff, which is planned during a 61-min. launch window that opens February 5 at 6:01 p.m. local time in French Guiana.
Today’s rollout from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building marked one of the final milestones in preparations for Flight VA247, which will kick off Arianespace’s 2019 launch activity. The company is planning up to 12 missions this year using the heavy-lift Ariane 5, medium-lift Soyuz and lightweight Vega.
A dual-payload deployment
Flight VA247 will be carrying a payload estimated at 10,018 kg. This total factors in the two satellite passengers’ combined liftoff mass, as well as hardware for Ariane 5’s dual-payload deployment system.
Riding in Ariane 5’s upper position, HS-4/SGS-1 is to be released first in the flight sequence, with its separation occurring 27 minutes after liftoff. Built by Lockheed Martin Space, it is a geostationary “condosat” for Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and Greek-Cypriot satellite operator Hellas Sat, an Arabsat subsidiary.
Completing the mission will be the deployment of Ariane 5’s lower passenger, GSAT-31, which will occur 42 minutes after the flight begins. This spacecraft was designed and manufactured by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to reduce the digital divide in India.
Launch window for Flight VA247:
From 6:01 PM
to 7:02 PM
on Feb. 5
on Feb. 5
From 11:01 PM
to 12:02 AM
on Feb. 5-6
From 12:01 AM
to 1:02 AM
on Feb. 6
From 2:31 AM
to 3:32 AM
on Feb. 6
More details are available in the VA247 launch kit: