Ariane 5 is in the launch zone for year-opening mission with Intelsat 29e

Arianespace's first Ariane 5 for liftoff in 2016 has rolled out to the launch zone in French Guiana, clearing the way for tomorrow's mission at the service of this workhorse vehicle's leading commercial customer: Intelsat.

Riding atop a mobile launch table, Ariane 5 today completed its 2,600-meter transfer from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building – where the Intelsat 29e satellite passenger was integrated – to the dedicated ELA-3 launch complex.

This paves the way for tomorrow’s mission, designated Flight VA228 in Arianespace’s numbering system – which is scheduled to lift off in a 1-hr., 20-min. launch window that opens January 27 at 8:20 p.m. local time in French Guiana.

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For this 228th launch of an Ariane-series vehicle to date, the payload lift performance is approximately 6,700 kg., with Intelsat 29e being deployed to geostationary transfer orbit during a flight sequence lasting just under 30 minutes.

The Boeing-built Intelsat 29e payload is Intelsat’s initial next-generation high-throughput EpicNG-series satellite. Operating in the C, Ku and Ka frequency bands, it will offer enterprise-grade broadband services to fixed and mobile network operators, aero and maritime mobility service providers, along with government customers.

After its deployment by Ariane 5, Intelsat 29e – which will become the 56th Intelsat satellite launched by Arianespace to date – is to operate from an orbital position of 310 deg. East.

The January 27 mission opens another busy year of activity for Arianespace, with an objective of performing up to 11 flights – including as many as eight by Ariane 5, which would be a new all-time record for the heavy-lift launcher.

Source: Arianespace
Date: Jan 27, 2016