by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Jul 27, 2012
Final payload integration has begun for Arianespace's heavy-lift Ariane 5 mission set for August 2 from the Spaceport in French Guiana, with its HYLAS 2 satellite passenger now integrated onto the launch vehicle.
The spacecraft was positioned yesterday atop Ariane 5's core section, which places it as the lower passenger in the mission's dual-satellite payload "stack."
HYLAS 2 weighs approximately 3,310 kg. for liftoff and was built by Orbital Sciences Corporation for Avanti Communications using a Star-2.4E platform.
This satellite is equipped with 24 Ka-band transponders, and will provide high-speed, low-cost, two-way data communications to Europe as well as the fast-growing regions of Africa and the Middle East.
It is the second spacecraft launched by Arianespace for Avanti, with HYLAS 1 successfully orbited in November 2010.
Also lofted with HYLAS 2 on this upcoming mission will be Intelsat's Intelsat 20 satellite, which is to replace the Intelsat 7 and Intelsat 10 spacecraft in orbit, and provide a broad range of communication services for Europe, the Middle East, Russia and Asia.
When integrated on Ariane 5, Intelsat 20 will be in the upper position of the payload stack.
The upcoming launch from the Spaceport - designated Flight VA208 in the Ariane numbering system - will be the fourth for Arianespace's heavy-lift workhorse in 2012.
Ariane 5 orbited Europe's third Automated Transfer Vehicle for resupply of the International Space Station in March on Flight VA205, and delivered the JCSAT-13 and VINASAT-2 spacecraft during May with Flight VA206.
Earlier this month, the EchoStar XVII telecommunications platform and MSG-3 meteorological satellite were orbited by the heavy-lift vehicle on Flight VA207.
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com
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