Ariane 5: Assembled and cleared for Arianespace’s initial heavy-lift launch of 2017
Arianespace’s first Ariane 5 mission of 2017 – and the company’s second launch so far this year – was given clearance for liftoff from the Spaceport in French Guiana next week with digital TV broadcast satellite passengers for Brazil and Indonesia.
The authorization was provided following today’s Launch Readiness Review, which verified the heavy-lift Ariane 5’s “go” status, along with its SKY Brasil-1 and Telkom 3S spacecraft, the Spaceport’s infrastructure, and the network of flight-following ground stations.
Liftoff of the mission – designated Flight VA235 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system – is set for February 14 during a launch window that opens at 6:39 p.m. in French Guiana (21h39 UTC). Its two relay platforms are to be deployed into geostationary transfer orbit during a mission lasting just under 40 minutes.
Completing Ariane 5’s build-up at the Spaceport
Activity at the Spaceport leading up to today’s Launch Readiness Review included completion of the launch vehicle’s integration in the Final Assembly Building for Ariane 5. During this process, Telkom 3S was mated to Ariane 5’s core cryogenic stage, followed by installation of the ogive-shaped payload fairing containing SKY Brasil-1 and the SYLDA dispenser system (enabling dual payloads to be carried by Arianespace’s heavy-lift launcher).
Released first during Flight VA235 will be SKY Brasil-1, developed for utilization by AT&T/DIRECTV via its DIRECTV Latin America subsidiary to expand direct-to-home high definition programming. The 6,000-kg.-class satellite was produced by Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse, France, using the spacecraft manufacturer’s Eurostar E3000 platform.
Approximately 12 minutes after SKY Brasil-1’s separation will be the deployment of Telkom 3S, designed for the delivery of high-definition television services as well as mobile communications and internet applications for Telkom Indonesia. The 3,550-kg. relay platform was built by Thales Alenia Space – Toulouse and Cannes, France, based on the Spacebus 4000B2 platform.
A busy year for Arianespace’s launcher family
Flight VA235 is one of up to 12 Spaceport missions to be operated during the year by Arianespace’s launcher family, which also is composed of the medium-lift Soyuz and lightweight Vega. Of the total, as many as seven liftoffs in 2017 will utilize Ariane 5s – developed and built by Airbus Safran Launchers as production prime contractor.
The next mission after Flight VA235 is scheduled for early March with Vega, deploying the Sentinel-2B Earth observation satellite into a Sun-synchronous orbit.
Arianespace opened its 2017 launch activity on January 27, when a Soyuz vehicle orbited Hispasat 36W-1 on a trajectory that injected the telecommunications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit.
Larger versions of the photos above are available for downloading in the gallery.
More details on Ariane 5 Flight VA235 are available in the launch kit: