Arianespace’s mission with the Intelsat 20 and HYLAS 2 telecommunications satellites is on pace for liftoff tomorrow evening, following its Ariane 5’s rollout to the ELA-3 launch zone today at the Spaceport in French Guiana.
Riding atop its mobile launch table, this heavy-lift workhorse was transferred to the launch pad from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building, where the Ariane 5 received its dual payload last week. With today’s rollout completed, final countdown will begin for an August 2 liftoff at the start of a 57-minute window that opens at 5:54 p.m. local time in French Guiana.
Thursday’s flight will be the fourth Ariane 5 mission of 2012, with a total lift performance estimated at 10,180 kg. – which includes approximately 9,400 kg. for the Intelsat 20 and HYLAS 2 spacecraft, along with the launcher’s dual-satellite dispenser system and integration hardware.
Riding as the upper passenger in Ariane 5’s payload “stack,” Intelsat 20 will be released first during the mission at 28 minutes into the flight, with HYLAS 2 being deployed 34 minutes after liftoff.
Intelsat 20 weighs some 6,090 kg., and was built for international satellite operator Intelsat by Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, California based on the 1300-series platform. Carrying a payload of Ku-band, C-band and Ka-band transponders, this spacecraft will replace the Intelsat 7 and Intelsat 10 satellites in orbit, and is to provide video, telephone and data transmission services for Europe, Africa, Russia, Asia and the Middle East.
The HYLAS 2 platform was produced for European satellite operator Avanti Communications by Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Virginia using its Star 2.4E platform, and is installed in the lower position of Ariane 5’s payload “stack.” Weighing some 3,300 kg., the satellite is equipped with Ka-band transponders and will provide data capacity to telecommunications, enterprise and government customers in Europe, the Middle East and portions of Africa.
Tomorrow’s mission is designated VA208, signifying the 208th launch of an Ariane family vehicle since 1979.