Intelsat Satellites Prepared for Upcoming Launch
Payload preparations for Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 mission are now in full swing, with this August 24 flight’s two satellite passengers – both for U.S.-based operator Intelsat – undergoing their checkout procedures at the Spaceport.
These pre-launch activities are underway in the Spaceport’s S5 building, following separate arrivals of the Intelsat 33e and Intelsat 36 spacecraft – both of which were delivered via cargo jetliner to French Guiana’s Félix Eboué Airport near Cayenne.
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Designated Flight VA232, this upcoming mission to geostationary transfer orbit will mark the sixth liftoff in 2016 by a member of Arianespace’s launch vehicle family – which consists of the heavy-lift Ariane 5, medium-size Soyuz and lightweight Vega – as well as the fourth liftoff this year using a workhorse Ariane 5.
Intelsat 33e, produced by Boeing Space Systems, will occupy the upper passenger position in Ariane 5’s dual-payload configuration – to be released first during the launch sequence on August 24.
With a liftoff mass estimated at 6,575 kg., Intelsat 33e is the second spacecraft of the next-generation Intelsat EpicNG series and integrates one of the most advanced digital payloads available commercially today. The first EpicNG-series satellite – Intelsat 29e – was successfully orbited on an Ariane 5 mission performed in January.
Intelsat 36, which has an estimated liftoff mass of 3,250 kg., is to be installed in the lower payload position on its Ariane 5 launcher. Built by SSL (Space Systems Loral), the satellite will enhance Intelsat’s premier direct-to-home neighborhood in Africa.
Source : Arianespace