A double arrival of Galaxy 30 and MEV-2 for Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 mission
The two payloads that will ride together on Arianespace’s upcoming Ariane 5 heavy-lift mission have arrived at the Spaceport in French Guiana to begin their pre-launch processing.
Delivered aboard an Antonov An-125 cargo jetliner last weekend were the Galaxy 30 relay satellite for Intelsat, along with the Mission Extension Vehicle-2 (MEV-2) – a pioneering satellite servicing spacecraft designed to dock with orbiting geostationary satellites whose fuel has nearly depleted.
They were unloaded from the aircraft at Félix Eboué Airport near the capital city of Cayenne for transfer by road to the Spaceport.
Two Northrop Grumman payloads for Flight VA253
Galaxy 30 and MEV-2 will be lofted on the next Ariane 5 mission – designated Flight VA253 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system – along with the BSAT-4b satellite for Maxar. Liftoff of Flight VA253 is scheduled for the end of July.
The Galaxy 30 spacecraft was built by Northrop Grumman, while MEV-2 was supplied by Space Logistics LLC, a wholly owned Northrop Grumman subsidiary. They will be stacked together to ride in the upper payload position on Ariane 5 for its mission to geostationary transfer orbit.
The Mission Extension Vehicle-2 will be deployed by Ariane 5 for its rendezvous and docking with the Intelsat 1002 satellite, which is scheduled for early 2021. Intelsat 1002 was launched in 2004 by Arianespace, and the MEV-2 will use its own thrusters and fuel supply to control the satellite’s orbit, thereby extending its useful lifetime.
Multi-band relay duties for Galaxy 30
Galaxy 30 is based on Northrop Grumman’s flight-proven GEOStar-2 platform. As the 11th Northrop Grumman satellite purchased by Intelsat, it is the first in Intelsat’s Galaxy fleet replacement program, dedicated to video distribution and broadcast services. With a C-band payload, this spacecraft will be integral to the U.S. C-band spectrum transition plan, on which Intelsat is collaborating with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.
Additionally, Galaxy 30 has Ku- and Ka-band payloads to support broadband applications, as well as the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) hosted payload for the Federal Aviation Administration. WAAS is an extremely accurate navigation system for civil aviation.
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