by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (ESA) Aug 10, 2015
The second passenger for Arianespace's next Ariane 5 flight has been fueled at the Spaceport, completing another major step for the August 20 launch from French Guiana.
This was the final stand-alone operation with the Intelsat 34 satellite before its integration on the launcher, and it occurred in the Spaceport's S5 payload preparation facility - conducted by personnel from spacecraft manufacturer SSL (Space Systems Loral), who were outfitted in specialized protection suits.
The careful process ensured that sufficient propellant was loaded for Intelsat 34's mission lifetime of more than 15 years, while maintaining the satellite's targeted mass of 3,300 kg. at liftoff in the lower position of Ariane 5's dual-passenger payload arrangement.
Intelsat 34 will be utilized by satellite services provider Intelsat to meet the media distribution requirements of leading programmers for Latin America. In addition, the spacecraft will support advanced broadband coverage for maritime and aeronautical providers serving the North Atlantic.
For the August 20 mission on Ariane 5 - designated Flight VA225 in Arianespace's launcher family numbering system - Intelsat 34 is to be delivered to geostationary transfer orbit along with the 5,800-kg.-class EUTELSAT 8 West B broadcast relay platform, which will be operated by Eutelsat and the Egyptian satellite company Nilesat. EUTELSAT 8 West B was fueled in separate activity at the Spaceport late last month.
Flight VA225 will continue Arianespace's sustained operational pace. In addition to being the company's fourth launch in 2015 with the Ariane 5 heavy-lift workhorse, Arianespace has performed two light-lift Vega missions this year, along with one utilizing its medium-weight Soyuz vehicle.
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com
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