The first-arrived satellite passenger for Arianespace's fourth flight of 2011 is undergoing initial checkout in French Guiana, as preparations move forward at the Spaceport for a dual-passenger Ariane 5 mission set for July 1.
This activity with the ASTRA 1N relay platform is taking place in the Spaceport's S5 payload processing facility where it already has completed its fit-check validation, clearing the way for additional milestones such as fueling prior to the integration on Ariane 5.
ASTRA 1N is a state-of-the-art Ku-band spacecraft for satellite operator SES ASTRA, and will deliver pan-European direct-to-home broadcast services - including digital and high definition television.
Built by EADS Astrium based on the company's E3000 platform, ASTRA 1N will have a liftoff mass of more than 5,300 kg. The spacecraft is designed for a nominal lifetime of 15 years.
Following its deployment by Ariane 5, ASTRA 1N initially will provide interim capacity for SES ASTRA from an orbital position of 28.2 deg. East, and subsequently will be moved to this operator's prime location at 19.2 deg. East for primary and backup services.
Joining ASTRA 1N on Ariane 5's upcoming mission in July will be the BSAT-3c/JCSAT-110R telecommunications platform, which was manufactured by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems