The go-ahead is given for Arianespace’s May 27 heavy-lift launch with DirecTV-15 and SKY México-1
Arianespace is keeping up its 2015 mission cadence with the go-ahead for a dual-payload Ariane 5 launch next week from French Guiana that will orbit the DirecTV-15 and SKY México-1 direct-to-home relay satellites for digital television entertainment services.
The green light for Flight VA223 was given after today’s launch readiness review, which is held prior to each Arianespace mission – confirming the “go” status of Ariane 5, as well as the Spaceport’s infrastructure and the downrange tracking station network.
With the readiness review now completed, all is set for next Tuesday’s rollout of Ariane 5, followed by an evening liftoff on May 27 during a launch window that opens at 6:16 p.m. (local time in French Guiana).
Lift performance for the mission is approximately 9,960 kg., which includes 9,200 kg. for the DirecTV-15 and SKY México-1 payloads, along with associated hardware for the launcher’s SYLDA dual-passenger dispenser system and satellite integration hardware.
DirecTV-15 is an Airbus Defence and Space-built satellite based on the Eurostar E3000 platform. It will provide services in the Ku-, Ka- and R-bands for customers of U.S.-based DIRECTV.
Orbital ATK, Inc. produced the SKY México-1 spacecraft using its GEOStar-2™ platform. Equipped with Ku- and R-band transponders, this spacecraft will be operated for SKY – which is owned by Mexico’s Grupo Televisa S.A.B. and DIRECTV.
Arianespace Flight VA223 will be the 223rd flight of an Ariane vehicle since the family of European-developed launchers began operation in 1979.