The DIRECTV-15 satellite is ready for unloading from the chartered Antonov An-124 cargo jetliner at Félix Eboué Airport in French Guiana.
Ariane Flight VA223
The Spaceport is continuing its sustained mission pace in support of Arianespace’s 2015 launch schedule, with the initial payload having now arrived in French Guiana for another of its heavy-lift Ariane 5 missions.
DIRECTV-15 was delivered to French Guiana yesterday aboard a chartered Antonov An-124 cargo jetliner that landed at Félix Eboué Airport near the capital city of Cayenne. Protected in a 14-meter-long shipping container, the broadcast relay satellite was unloaded and transferred by road to the Spaceport, where it now is being readied for pre-launch checkout in the S5 payload preparation facility.
This spacecraft will be one of two passengers for an Arianespace heavy-lift mission in May, which is designated VA223 in the company’s numbering system.
The DIRECTV-15 satellite was built by Airbus Defence and Space and will have a liftoff mass of approximately 6,200 kg. As one of the most powerful broadcast satellites ever built for the United States (with an 18-kW end-of-life power), the relay platform will provide additional services for more than 20 million customers of DIRECTV – a world-leading digital television entertainment services provider.
Built by Airbus Defence and Space, the DIRECTV-15 satellite was transported to French Guiana in a protective 14-meter-long container.
Payload preparations move into full swing for Arianespace’s Ariane 5 flight with DirecTV-15 and SKY Mexico-1
Ariane Flight VA223
The two satellite passengers for Arianespace’s second Ariane 5 flight in 2015 – DirecTV-15 and SKY Mexico-1 (SKYM-1), both of which will be operated by digital television entertainment services provider DIRECTV – are advancing through their payload preparation phase during parallel activities at the Spaceport in French Guiana.
DirecTV-15 – the first of these two spacecraft to arrive in French Guiana – has completed its initial checkout, and subsequently was loaded with onboard propellant in the S5A hall of the Spaceport’s S5 payload preparation facility.
This marked a key step ahead of the satellite’s upcoming integration in the Ariane 5 payload arrangement, where DirecTV-15 will be joined by its SKYM-1 co-passenger – which was delivered to French Guiana via cargo jetliner on April 17, and is now undergoing its own checkout process at the Spaceport.
Scheduled for May, the Ariane 5 flight with DirecTV-15 and SKYM-1 is designated VA223 in Arianespace’s numbering system – signifying the 223rd liftoff of an Ariane-series vehicle since 1979.
DirecTV-15 – one of the most powerful broadcast satellites ever built for the United States (with an 18-kW end-of-life power), based on the Eurostar E3000 platform – was produced by Airbus Defence and Space. After its deployment by Ariane 5, the relay platform will provide additional services for more than 20 million customers of DIRECTV, operating in Ku-band, Ka-band and R-band from several orbital positions.
SKYM-1 was built by Orbital ATK, Inc. based on its GEOStar-2™ platform. Carrying 24 active Ku-band transponders and two active R-band transponders, it will deliver direct-to-home broadcast services to the Mexico, Central America and Caribbean regions.
Vol Ariane 223 – Transfert de Skymexico-1
Arianespace receives the Ariane 5 for its upcoming flight with two DIRECTV broadcast satellites
The Ariane 5 for Arianespace Flight VA223 is shown during today’s Spaceport transfer from the Launcher Integration Building (visible in the center background) to the Final Assembly Building in French Guiana.
Ariane Flight VA223
The Spaceport is busy with activity for Ariane 5’s next mission from French Guiana, with the heavy-lift launcher now delivered to Arianespace and its two satellite passengers continuing their checkout process.
During activity in the Spaceport’s central zone today, Ariane 5 was moved from the Launcher Integration Building – where it underwent the basic build-up process by industrial prime contractor Airbus Defence and Space – to the Final Assembly Building. This step marks the transfer of responsibility to Arianespace for the payload integration, final validations and launch.
At the same time, the two passengers are being readied for their liftoff. Both satellites on this upcoming mission, designated Flight VA223 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system, are for the same customer: DIRECTV, which is one of the world's leading providers of digital television entertainment services with more than 37 million customers in the U.S. and Latin America.
DirecTV-15 will ride in Ariane 5’s upper passenger position and is among the most powerful broadcast satellites ever built for the United States. Produced by Airbus Defence and Space using the Eurostar E3000 platform, it will provide services in the Ku-, Ka- and R-bands.
SKY Mexico-1 is an Orbital ATK, Inc.-built satellite based the GEOStar-2™ platform and carries Ku- and R-band transponders. It will be situated in the lower slot of Ariane 5’s payload arrangement, contained in the SYLDA dispenser system.
DirecTV-15 and SKY México-1 are integrated for their Arianespace heavy-lift mission with Ariane 5
Ariane Flight VA223
Arianespace’s upcoming mission to orbit two direct-to-home broadcast satellites from the Spaceport in French Guiana has made an important step closer to this month’s liftoff with the integration of DirecTV-15 and SKY México-1 on their heavy-lift Ariane 5 launcher.
During action in the upper levels of the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building, SKY México-1 was installed atop Ariane 5’s central core – over which was positioned the “upper composite” containing DirecTV-15, the SYLDA 5 dispenser system and the protective payload fairing.
Following final checkout, the Ariane 5 will be readied for rollout to the ELA-3 launch complex, enabling the May 27 liftoff.
As the mission’s upper passenger, DirecTV-15 is to be released first during the flight sequence, followed by the SYLDA 5 dispenser’s separation and deployment of SKY México-1.
DirecTV-15 was produced by Airbus Defence and Space using the Eurostar E3000 platform, and it will provide services in the Ku-, Ka- and R-bands for the more than 20 million customers of U.S.-based DIRECTV – one of the world's leading providers of digital television entertainment services.
SKY México-1 is an Orbital ATK, Inc.-built satellite based the GEOStar-2™ platform and carries Ku- and R-band transponders. This spacecraft will be operated for SKY, which is owned by Mexico’s Grupo Televisa S.A.B. and DIRECTV.
The go-ahead is given for Arianespace’s May 27 heavy-lift launch with DirecTV-15 and SKY México-1
Ariane Flight VA223
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 México-1 direct-to-home relay satellites for digital television entertainment services.
The green light for Flight VA223 was given after today’s launch readiness review, which is held prior to each Arianespace mission – confirming the “go” status of Ariane 5, as well as the Spaceport’s infrastructure and the downrange tracking station network.
With the readiness review now completed, all is set for next Tuesday’s rollout of Ariane 5, followed by an evening liftoff on May 27 during a launch window that opens at 6:16 p.m. (local time in French Guiana).
Lift performance for the mission is approximately 9,960 kg., which includes 9,200 kg. for the DirecTV-15 and SKY México-1 payloads, along with associated hardware for the launcher’s SYLDA dual-passenger dispenser system and satellite integration hardware.
DirecTV-15 is an Airbus Defence and Space-built satellite based on the Eurostar E3000 platform. It will provide services in the Ku-, Ka- and R-bands for customers of U.S.-based DIRECTV.
Orbital ATK, Inc. produced the SKY México-1 spacecraft using its GEOStar-2™ platform. Equipped with Ku- and R-band transponders, this spacecraft will be operated for SKY – which is owned by Mexico’s Grupo Televisa S.A.B. and DIRECTV.
Arianespace Flight VA223 will be the 223rd flight of an Ariane vehicle since the family of European-developed launchers began operation in 1979.
In position: Ariane 5 rolls out for Arianespace's dual-passenger mission tomorrow
Ariane Flight VA223
Positioned atop its mobile launch table, Ariane 5 is moved to the Spaceport’s ELA-3 complex in preparation for Arianespace’s May 27 mission.
Arianespace’s heavy-lift launcher has moved to its launch zone in French Guiana for the May 27 dual-passenger Ariane 5 flight with DirecTV-15 for DIRECTV and SKY México’s SKY México-1.
During activity at the Spaceport today, Ariane 5 was transferred atop its mobile launch table from the Final Assembly Building – where payload integration occurred – to the dedicated ELA-3 launch complex.
This step paves the way for tomorrow’s mission – designated Flight VA223 in Arianespace’s numbering system – which is planned to liftoff in a one-hour, 24-minute launch window that opens at 6:16 p.m. local time in French Guiana.
As Flight VA223’s upper passenger, DirecTV-15 – built by Airbus Defence and Space – will be deployed first in the flight sequence at nearly 28 minutes after liftoff.
Approximately 10 minutes later, the Orbital ATK, Inc.-produced SKY México-1 – which is riding in Ariane 5’s lower position – is to be separated, completing the flight sequence.
Underscoring the company’s sustained operational pace at the Spaceport this year, Flight VA223 will be Arianespace’s fourth total launch in 2015 for its complete launcher family, following one previous mission each for Ariane 5, the medium-lift Soyuz and lightweight Vega.
Update: 27.05.2015 / 22.00 MESZ
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Arianespace launches two commercial satellites
for the Americas on Ariane 5
On its fourth launch of the year, the second with Ariane 5, Arianespace successfully launched two direct TV broadcast satellites for high definition and 4K ultra high definition services: DIRECTV 15, for the operator DIRECTV, and SKYM-1 for the operator SKY Mexico, a new customer part of DIRECTV Group, serving the Latin American market.
Arianespace's fourth launch of the year took place today at 06:16 pm local time from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.
The second Ariane 5 mission of the year reflects the ongoing confidence of major operators in the exceptional performance and reliability of the Ariane 5 heavy-lift launch vehicle in the Arianespace family.
Dedicated to HD and 4K Ultra HD services for the Americas
Built by Airbus Defence and Space, DIRECTV 15 is the most powerful direct-to-home (DTH) TV broadcast satellite in the United States. It will offer new 4K ultra-high definition direct TV broadcast services to customers in the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
Built by Orbital ATK, SKYM-1 is a direct TV broadcast satellite for SKY Mexico, member of the DIRECTV family, the leading provider of pay television services in Mexico. SKYM-1 will provide high-definition DTH services for Mexico, Central America and the Carribbean. It offers a design life in orbit of 15 years.
Twenty-two years ago, Arianespace launched the first DIRECTV satellite, DBS-1. The satellites launched today, DIRECTV 15 and SKYM-1, are the eighth and ninth satellites launched by Arianespace for DIRECTV. Arianespace has one more DIRECTV satellite to be launched, SKY Brasil-1.
Arianespace a leader in the U.S. launch services market
With this latest launch for operators based in the Americas, Arianespace consolidates its leadership in the U.S., based on:
- 82 geostationary and 69 non-geostationary satellites launched for U.S. operators and U.S. customers.
- 169 satellites launched by Arianespace were built in the U.S.
- 70% market share for Arianespace of the commercial geostationary satellites to be launched for U.S. operators.
Mission facts & figures
- 65th successful Ariane 5 mission in a row
- 508th and 509th satellites launched by Arianespace
- 264th launch by the Arianespace family of launchers.
Shortly after the announcement that the two satellites had been injected into orbit, Arianespace Chairman and CEO Stéphane Israël said: "Arianespace is very proud of having orbited two DTH satellites this evening, on our fourth mission of the year, for operators and customers in the Americas.
"I would like to thank our customers, DIRECTV for their continued confidence after the successful launches of DLA-1 and DIRECTV-14 in 2014, and SKY Mexico, member of the DIRECTV family, which entrusted us and Ariane 5 with the launch of its first satellite. Congratulations as well to the two satellite manufacturers, Airbus Defence and Space for DIRECTV 15 and Orbital ATK for SKYM-1.
"And of course I would like to thank all European companies who contribute to the production of this remarkable launch vehicle, under the direction of our prime Airbus Safran Launchers. Thanks to ESA, contracting authority for the Ariane program, and French space agency CNES, as well as all companies and teams operating at the Guiana Space Center, who worked so hard to ensure this 65th consecutive launch success of Ariane 5. I would also like to congratulate the Arianespace’s teams, whose commitment and professionalism have allowed us to extend the successes of 2014 into 2015."