by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Aug 01, 2012
Arianespace's fourth heavy-lift Ariane 5 mission of 2012 has been given the green light for liftoff later this week following the launch readiness review at the Spaceport in French Guiana.
This procedure, which is performed before every Ariane mission, examines the "go" status of the launcher, its dual payload of the Intelsat 20 and HYLAS 2 satellites, the Spaceport's infrastructure and the ground tracking system network.
With today's successful review, the Ariane 5 is now cleared for its rollout tomorrow from the Spaceport's Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone, where it will be readied for a Thursday evening liftoff.
The Ariane 5 is to deliver a total lift performance of approximately 10,180 kg. - which includes the HYLAS 2 and Intelsat 20 satellites, along with hardware for the launcher's dual-payload deployment system.
Intelsat 20 was built for international satellite operator Intelsat by Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, California.
With an estimated liftoff mass of 6,090 kg., this relay platform will replace the Intelsat 7 and Intelsat 10 spacecraft in orbit, and is to provide video, telephone and data transmission services in the Ku-, C-, and Ka-bands for Europe, Africa, Russia, Asia and the Middle East.
Weighing some 3,300 kg. at liftoff, the HYLAS 2 spacecraft was produced by Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Virginia for European satellite operator Avanti Communications.
The satellite is equipped with 24 Ka-band transponders and will provide data capacity to telecommunications, enterprise and government customers in Europe, the Middle East and portions of Africa.
The launch of HYLAS 2 and Intelsat 20 follows Arianespace's three successful Ariane 5 missions so far this year.
In March, its heavy-lift workhorse delivered Europe's third Automated Transfer Vehicle for the International Space Station, and May's mission lofted the JCSAT-13 and VINASAT-2 spacecraft. Earlier this month, the EchoStar XVII telecommunications and MSG-3 meteorological satellites were orbited by Ariane 5.
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com
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