[SatNews] The Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s Flight VA224 has reached the launch zone in French Guiana, positioning this heavy-lift workhorse for its July 15 dual-passenger mission with Embratel Star One’s Star One C4 and MSG-4 for Eumetsat.
The completed Ariane 5 was moved today (Monday, July 13th) on its mobile launch table from the Final Assembly Building—where payload integration occurred—to the Spaceport’s dedicated ELA-3 launch complex, setting the stage for Arianespace’s sixth total launch this year across its family of Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega vehicles.
Designated Flight VA224 in the company’s numbering system, this latest Ariane 5 mission is scheduled for liftoff during a 37-minute window that opens Wednesday at 6:42 p.m. local time in French Guiana.
Riding in Ariane 5’s upper position, Star One C4 is to be deployed first in the flight sequence at more than 28 minutes after liftoff. This telecommunications satellite for Brazil’s Embratel Star One will reinforce the operator’s direct-to-home services in Brazil, while expanding access to other Latin American countries and the mainland United States.
Completing the mission will be the separation of Ariane 5’s lower passenger, MSG-4, which will occur approximately 40 minutes after the flight commences. Operated by Eumetsat—the European organization dedicated to weather, climate and environmental monitoring—MSG-4 is part of the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) series of satellites. After launch it will be stored in orbit, ultimately being named Meteosat-11 when it becomes operational to bridge the gap between Meteosat-10 and the initial Meteosat Third Generation spacecraft that are planned to be orbited in 2019 and 2021.