Launcher and payload preparations advance for Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 mission
Ariane 5 is “on the move” as launcher and payload preparations continue in parallel for Arianespace’s August 24 mission at the service of international satellite operator Intelsat.
In a milestone reached today at the Spaceport in French Guiana, Ariane 5 was rolled out from the Launcher Integration Building – where its core cryogenic stage, two solid boosters and cryogenic upper stage were mated – to the Final Assembly Building. This process formally transferred authority for the heavy-lift vehicle to Arianespace from production prime contractor Airbus Safran Launchers.
With Ariane 5 now under Arianespace’s responsibility, the launcher is in position to receive its Intelsat 33e and Intelsat 36 payloads – both of which have been advancing through their own pre-flight preparations at the Spaceport. During the latest activity, Intelsat 33e this week began receiving its propellant load inside the S5 payload preparation facility.
Both spacecraft on this upcoming mission to geostationary transfer orbit – which is designated Flight VA232 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system – will be operated by Intelsat following their deployment by Ariane 5.
Intelsat 33e will ride in the upper position of Ariane 5’s payload configuration, to be released first during the flight sequence. Produced by Boeing Space Systems, it is the second spacecraft of the next-generation Intelsat EpicNG series and integrates one of the most advanced digital payloads available commercially today. The first EpicNG-series satellite – Intelsat 29e – was successfully orbited on an Ariane 5 mission performed in January.
Intelsat 36, which was built by SSL (Space Systems Loral), is to be installed in the Ariane 5’s lower payload position. After reaching its target orbit, the satellite will enhance Intelsat’s premier direct-to-home neighborhood in Africa.