ARSAT-1 touches down in French Guiana for its Arianespace launch
The first geostationary satellite built in Argentina – ARSAT-1 – has been delivered to French Guiana, where this milestone spacecraft will be readied for Arianespace’s dual-passenger Ariane 5 mission in mid-October.
Transported by a chartered An-124 cargo jetliner, ARSAT-1 landed yesterday at Félix Eboué International Airport near French Guiana’s capital city of Cayenne. The satellite was then unloaded for transfer by road to the Spaceport’s clean room facilities, where it is to undergo pre-launch processing.
ARSAT-1 was produced for Argentine satellite operator ARSAT (Empresa Argentina de Soluciones Satelitales Sociedad Anonima) by the company INVAP, with Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space as leading equipment suppliers. This spacecraft will deliver a wide range of telecommunications, data transmission, telephone and television services across all of Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay – operating from an orbital position of 72 deg. West following its deployment by Ariane 5.
The ARSAT-1 satellite will be orbited along with its co-passenger, ISDLA-1, on another of Ariane 5’s trademark dual-payload missions. Built for international operator Intelsat by SSL (Space Systems/Loral), DLA-1 – together with the DLA-2 satellite that will be lofted on a future flight – is to greatly expand direct-to-home entertainment offerings in Latin America, as well as provide backup and restoration services.
Arianespace’s mission with ARSAT-1 and ISDLA-1 is designated Flight VA220 in the company’s launcher family numbering system.