[SatNews] A new preparation milestone has been reached for Ariane 5’s March 21st flight from French Guiana with installation of customer graphics on the heavy-lift mission’s payload fairing, which is a tradition for Arianespace launches.
This activity was performed in the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building for Ariane 5, where the launcher’s ogive-shaped payload fairing, which protects payloads during ascent through the denser atmospheric layers, was adorned with imagery related to its two satellite passengers: ASTRA 5B and Amazonas 4A.
Built by Airbus Defence and Space, ASTRA 5B will extend operator SES’ transponder capacity and geographical reach over Eastern Europe and neighboring markets, delivering direct-to-home, direct-to-cable and contribution feeds to digital terrestrial television networks. The spacecraft also carries a hosted L-band payload for the European Commission’s European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS). ASTRA 5B is represented on the Ariane 5’s payload fairing by logos for SES, EGNOS and Forbes Georgia.
Orbital Sciences Corporation produced the Amazonas 4A spacecraft, which is spotlighted on the payload fairing with its own logo, for operator HISPASAT. After deployment by Ariane 5, it will provide enhanced relay capacity over Latin America and an extended range of communications and television services.
This week’s mission is designated VA216 in Arianespace’s numbering system, with its liftoff set during a launch window opening at 7:05 p.m. local time in French Guiana on March 21. Please follow Arianespace's launch activity at http://www.arianespace.com.