Ariane Flight VA215
Arianespace’s fourth Ariane 5 mission of 2013 has been approved for liftoff on Thursday with two communications satellites to provide relay coverage over the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, along with the Indian land mass.
The authorization followed today’s successful launch readiness review conducted at the Spaceport in French Guiana. This procedure – held prior to all Arianespace missions – validated the “go” status of the launcher, its dual payload of the EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1 and GSAT-7 satellites, the Spaceport’s infrastructure and the system of downrange tracking stations.
With today’s review, the Ariane 5 is now cleared for rollout tomorrow from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone – where it will be readied for liftoff on August 29 during a 50-minute launch window opening at 5:30 p.m. local time in French Guiana.
The Ariane 5 is to deliver an estimated total lift performance of 9,790 kg. – including EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1 and GSAT-7, along with hardware for the launcher’s dual-payload deployment system.
EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1 – which was built by Space Systems/Loral (SSL) – will ride in the upper position of Ariane 5’s payload “stack,” to be deployed first during the 34-minute flight sequence. Once in orbit, the spacecraft will be used by European telecommunications operator Eutelsat Communications and Qatar’s Es’hailSat Satellite Company to deliver Ku-band television broadcasting, telecommunications and government services for the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. Its Ka-band capability will open business opportunities in these regions for both operators.
To be released second as the mission’s lower passenger, India’s GSAT-7 was developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to provide the country with UHF, S-band, C-band and Ku-band relay capacity over the India land mass. The satellite is adapted from India’s I-2K spacecraft bus, which also was used for the INSAT-3D satellite – lofted by Arianespace’s most recent Ariane 5 mission, performed on July 25.
The launch this Thursday is designated Flight VA215 in Arianespace’s numbering system, signifying the 215th flight of an Ariane family vehicle.
Date: Aug 28, 2013