Ariane 5 is cleared for Arianespace’s year-opening launch with EUTELSAT KONNECT and GSAT-30
Arianespace’s first mission of 2020 has been authorized for liftoff from the Spaceport in French Guiana, with this “green light” provided at the conclusion of today’s launch readiness review for an Ariane 5 flight with two telecommunications satellite passengers.
Flight VA251’s “upper composite” – composed of EUTELSAT KONNECT, the SYLDA dispenser system and Ariane 5’s protective payload fairing – is lowered over GSAT-30 to complete launcher build-up.
The approval follows integration of Ariane 5’s dual payload, which was completed inside the Spaceport’s launch vehicle Final Assembly Building.
Liftoff of the year-opening mission – designated Flight VA251 in Arianespace’s numbering system – is set for January 16 during a launch window that opens at 6:05 p.m. local time in French Guiana. The two passengers are to be deployed into geostationary transfer orbit during a mission lasting approximately 38 minutes.
Today’s authorization clears Ariane 5 for its roll-out tomorrow from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone, where it will be readied for Thursday’s liftoff.
Another dual-passenger deployment for Ariane 5
Encapsulated in the protective fairing, EUTELSAT KONNECT is mated atop Ariane 5’s SYLDA dual-payload dispenser system and positioned as the launch vehicle’s upper passenger. To be deployed first during the flight sequence, it is a new-generation high-throughput satellite that will deliver services across Europe and Africa.
Produced by Thales Alenia Space, EUTELSAT KONNECT is the first to use the company’s Spacebus NEO platform developed under the Neosat Partnership Project conducted by the European and French space agencies (ESA and CNES). The spacecraft will weigh approximately 3,620 kg. at liftoff.
Located below EUTELSAT KONNECT in the launcher payload configuration is the lower passenger, GSAT-30, installed atop the heavy-lift vehicle’s core stage.
Produced by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) using an I-3K platform, GSAT-30 is to provide high-quality television, telecommunications and broadcasting services. It has a calculated liftoff mass of 3,357 kg. and is to ensure continuity of service for India’s INSAT 4A, positioned at 83 deg. East longitude.
The overall lift performance for Ariane 5 on Flight VA251 is estimated at 7,888 kg. – which includes the mass of its two satellite passengers and the payload integration hardware.
A larger version of the photo above is available for downloading in the Gallery.
Launch window for Flight VA251:
Between 6:05 p.m.
and 8:00 p.m.
on Jan. 16
Between 4:05 p.m.
and 6:00 p.m.
on Jan. 16
on Jan. 16
Between 10:05 p.m.
and 12:00 a.m.
on Jan. 16/17
Between 2:35 a.m.
and 4:30 a.m.
on Jan. 17
More details are available in the VA251 launch kit: