Ariane Flight VA215
Pre-launch checkout is now underway at the Spaceport with EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1, which is one of two satellite passengers to be orbited on Arianespace’s fourth heavy-lift Ariane 5 mission of 2013.
Following its arrival in French Guiana by cargo aircraft last weekend, the spacecraft emerged from its protective shipping container inside the Spaceport’s S5 payload preparation facility to begin processing for a targeted August 29 launch.
This satellite – built by U.S.-based Space Systems/Loral (SSL) – will secure Ku-band continuity for European telecommunications operator Eutelsat and additional Ku-band resources for Es’hailSat, the Qatar Satellite Company, as well as initiate Ka-band capability to open business opportunities for the two operators.
In serving both Eutelsat and Es’hailSat, the relay platform will help respond to the demand for the fastest-growing applications in the Middle East and North Africa – including video broadcasting, enterprise communications and government services.
Based on SSL’s 1300 platform, EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1 has four steerable spot beam antennas and four deployable reflectors, along with advanced command and telemetry capabilities, and is designed for a service life of 15 years or more.
EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1 will be in the upper position of the payload “stack” for August’s dual-passenger Ariane 5 launch, joined by India’s GSAT-7 telecommunications satellite in the lower slot. G-SAT 7 was developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation and carries relay payloads in UHF, S-band, C-band and Ku-band.
As the 215th launch to date with the Ariane series of vehicles, this mission will be the sixth from French Guiana in 2013 with Arianespace’s family of launchers. It is to follow the three Ariane 5 liftoffs, performed in July, June and February; along with one flight each for the medium-lift Soyuz and lightweight Vega, performed in June and May, respectively. Arianespace’s Starsem affiliate conducted a Soyuz flight from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan during February.
Date: Aug 1, 2013