by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Nov 08, 2016
Payload preparations for the December dual-passenger flight of Arianespace's heavy-lift Ariane 5 are moving into gear following JCSAT-15's arrival at the Spaceport in French Guiana. This Japanese spacecraft was delivered last week to Felix Eboue International Airport near French Guiana's capital city of Cayenne, then transferred by road for processing inside the Spaceport's S5 satellite preparation facility.
JCSAT-15 was produced by Space Systems Loral (SSL) using its SSL 1300 platform. Equipped with Ku-band transponders, the 10-kW-class satellite will be used by operator SKY Perfect JSAT Corp to help broadcast its multi-channel pay TV service SKY PerfecTV! across Japan, as well as provide data transfer communications and maritime/aviation applications for the Oceania and Indian Ocean regions.
A dual-payload mission with SSL satellites
Initiating the fourth generation "D" family of Embratel Star One satellites, Star One D1 is the largest ever built for the company, equipped with C-, Ku-, and Ka- band relay capacity. It will have a total mass at liftoff of 6,433 kg.
Flight VA234 with Star One D1 and JCSAT-15 will follow Arianespace's upcoming mission with its heavy-lift launcher, which is to orbit the next four satellites for Europe's Galileo navigation system on November 17; and the next lightweight Vega launch, scheduled for December 5 with Turkey's GOKTURK-1A observation satellite.
First Ariane 5 for launch in 2017 at Spaceport
This vehicle recently arrived in French Guiana aboard the MN Colibri, which is one of two roll-on/roll-off ships that transport Arianespace launchers from their European manufacturers to South America.
After docking at Pariacabo Port, the Ariane 5's components were unloaded and transported by road to the Spaceport - where they will be assembled during activity inside the Launcher Integration Building.
Getting off to a strong start in 2017
A total of 232 Ariane missions have been performed since the family of European launch vehicles began operation in 1979. Number 233 will be marked on Arianespace's next flight from the Spaceport, scheduled for November 17 - during which an Ariane 5 ES version will loft four satellites for Europe's Galileo navigation system.
So far in 2016, Arianespace has conducted five flights with the heavy-lift Ariane 5. This activity was complemented by two missions using the medium-lift Soyuz, plus one with the lightweight Vega vehicle.
Arianespace's 2016 launch activity will be completed with two December missions: the Vega flight with Turkey's GOKTURK-1A observation satellite, which will be followed by an Ariane 5 mission to orbit the JCSAT-15 and Star One D1 telecommunications relay platforms.
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