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Ariane 5's second launch of 2015
by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) May 28, 2015

On 27 May 2015, Ariane 5 flight VA223 lifted off from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana and delivered two telecom satellites, Directv-15 and Sky Mexico-1, into their planned orbits. Image courtesy ESA. For a larger version of this image please go here.

An Ariane 5 lifted off last night from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana and delivered two telecom satellites into their planned orbits. The launch of flight VA223 occurred on 27 May at 21:16 GMT (23:16 CEST, 18:16 local time).

Directv-15, with a mass of about 6200 kg and mounted in the upper position atop Ariane's Sylda dual-payload carrier, was the first to be released about 28 minutes into the mission.

Following a series of burns controlled by Ariane's computer, the Sylda structure encasing the 2960 kg Sky Mexico-1 was then jettisoned. Sky Mexico-1 was released into its own transfer orbit about 10 minutes after the first satellite.

Directv-15, owned and operated by Directv, can operate from up to five different orbital positions between 99 W to 119 W in geostationary orbit. It will provide Ku-band and Ka-band communications for HD and 4K UHD direct-to-home TV broadcast services in the continental US, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The satellite has a design life of about 15 years.

Sky Mexico-1, owned and operated by Sky Mexico, will be positioned at 78.8 W in geostationary orbit to provide high-definition direct TV broadcast services for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. It has a design life of 15 years.

The payload mass for this launch was 10130 kg. The satellites totalled about 9170 kg, with payload adapters and carrying structures making up the rest.

Flight VA223 was the 79th Ariane 5 mission.

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DirecTV-15 and SKY Mexico-1 go for May 27 Ariane 5 heavy-lift
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) May 27, 2015
Arianespace is keeping up its 2015 mission cadence with the go-ahead for a dual-payload Ariane 5 launch next week from French Guiana that will orbit the DirecTV-15 and SKY Mexico-1 direct-to-home relay satellites for digital television entertainment services. The green light for Flight VA223 was given after the launch readiness review, which is held prior to each Arianespace mission - conf ... read more

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