by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Jun 18, 2013
Payload preparations for Arianespace's third Ariane 5 mission in 2013 have commenced following this week's delivery of INSAT-3D, which is one of two spacecraft that will be lofted on a heavy-lift flight targeted for the second half of July.
INSAT-3D - built by India's space agency, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) - arrived in French Guiana aboard a chartered An-124 cargo jetliner, and was transported from Felix Eboue Airport near Cayenne to the Spaceport's payload preparation facilities.
The meteorological satellite will carry weather forecasting payloads, along with a search and rescue relay system. It is to have a mass at liftoff of approximately 2,100 kg. and offer 1,100 W of power.
INSAT-3D will be orbited along with its co-passenger, the Astrium-built Alphasat satellite, on another of Ariane 5's trademark dual-payload missions. Alphasat will be operated under an agreement between the European Space Agency (ESA) and European commercial satellite operator Inmarsat, and will provide additional L-band capacity for coverage of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Designated Flight VA214 in Arianespace's numbering system, this upcoming mission represents the 214th launch of an Ariane family vehicle and will be the 70th flight of the heavy-lift Ariane 5.
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com
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