The final preparations are once again underway for Flight 163, which is scheduled for liftoff tonight from the Spaceport in French Guiana.
Last night’s attempt was delayed by 24 hours after an anomaly was detected in the launch table on which Ariane 5 is installed for liftoff.
The launch window for tonight’s mission opens at 9:44 p.m. and continues to 10:29 p.m., local time at the Spaceport in French Guiana. (00:44 a.m.-1:29 a.m. on July 18 GMT; 02:44 a.m.-3:29 a.m. on July 18 in Paris; and 8:44 p.m.-9:29 p.m. on July 17 in Washington, D.C. and Ottawa, Canada).
Flight 163’s Anik F2 payload will be the largest commercial telecommunications satellite ever launched. The spacecraft will be operated by Telesat from an orbital position of 111.1 deg. West., and is to provide high-speed Internet access and digital communications services across all of North America. It has a mass of 5,950 kg. at liftoff, it carries 32 Ku-band transponders, 38 Ka-band transponders and 24 C-band transponders.