Eutelsat’s W3B telecommunications satellite arrives for the next Ariane 5 launch
The Eutelsat W3B satellite for Arianespace’s upcoming Ariane 5 mission has arrived at the Spaceport, where it will undergo final checkout for its October 28 liftoff.
Based on Thales Alenia Space’s 4000 platform, W3B will provide a wide range of relay services.
W3B was delivered to French Guiana last week aboard an Antonov An-124 cargo jetliner, and is now in one of the Spaceport’s clean rooms for its pre-launch validation.
This latest payload to be launched by Arianespace for Eutelsat – Europe’s leading satellite operator – is designed for an operational lifetime of more than 15 years. To be located at an orbital position of 16 deg. East, W3B will renew and expand resources at a slot that reaches some of the most dynamic markets in the satellite business.
In addition to increasing the relay capacity for rapidly-expanding video platforms in Central Europe and Indian Ocean islands, W3B will initiate a new mission at the 16° East position – with bandwidth and coverage for telecommunications operators and Internet service providers in Africa to meet sustained demand for enterprise networks and GSM connectivity.
The satellite is based on Thales Alenia Space’s Spacebus 4000 platform and carries 56 transponders. Its liftoff mass will be 5.4 metric tons.
Arianespace’s October 28 mission also is to carry B-SAT Corporation’s BSAT-3b satellite, marking another of the heavy-lift Ariane 5’s dual-passenger flights. It will be the fourth of six launches with Ariane 5 that are targeted by Arianespace in 2010.