The AT&T T-16 and EUTELSAT 7C satellites are readied for Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 launch
The two satellite passengers for Arianespace’s upcoming Ariane 5 flight – AT&T T-16 and EUTELSAT 7C – are advancing through their payload preparation phases during parallel activity at the Spaceport in French Guiana.
Both are telecommunications relay platforms for operation by long-time Arianespace customers: AT&T, which provides mobile, broadband, video and other communications services to U.S.-based consumers; and Eutelsat, the Paris-based company providing satellite capacity to clients that include broadcasters and broadcasting associations, pay-TV operators, video, data and internet service providers, enterprises and government agencies.
Scheduled for liftoff on June 20, this mission is to mark the fifth flight in 2019 by a member of Arianespace’s launch vehicle family – which consists of the heavy-lift Ariane 5, medium-size Soyuz and lightweight Vega. It will be the second this year using the workhorse Ariane 5.
Another dual-payload mission for Ariane 5
AT&T T-16 – produced in France by Airbus Defence and Space based on the Eurostar 3000 LX Hybrid platform – will occupy the upper passenger position in Ariane 5’s dual-payload configuration, to be released first during the launch sequence.
Flight VA248’s two satellite passengers are readied for launch during parallel activity inside the Spaceport’s S5 building. The photo at left shows AT&T T-16 during its fueling process, while at right EUTELSAT 7C undergoes its fit-check with the payload adapter that will provide the interface with Ariane 5 when integrated on the launcher.
This hybrid-propulsion-powered broadcast satellite can be operated from five different orbital slots (from 99 deg. West to 119 deg. West) following its deployment by Ariane 5, with a coverage area that will include the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Its liftoff mass is estimated at 6,350 kg.
EUTELSAT 7C, a telecommunications satellite with all-electric propulsion, is to be released from the Ariane 5 launcher’s lower payload position. It was built by Maxar Technologies in the U.S. state of California using the company’s 1300-140” All-Electric platform and will weigh approximately 3,400 kg. at liftoff.
Once operational from its orbital position at 7 deg. East, EUTELSAT 7C will significantly increase capacity over Sub-Saharan Africa – making room for several hundred additional digital channels as this region’s television market continues to grow at a rapid pace.
Larger versions of the photos above are available in the Gallery.
Launch window for VA248: June 20
Between 2:43 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. El Segundo, California, USA time
Between 5:43 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Washington, D.C., USA time
Between 6:43 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Kourou, French Guiana time
Between 21:43 and 23:30 Universal Time (UTC)
Between 11:43 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. Paris, France time during the night of June 20 to 21