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Satnews Daily
July 17th, 2012

Arianespace... Some More Heavy Lifting Going On (Launch)

[SatNews] The two satellite passengers for Arianespace’s next heavy-lift Ariane 5 mission are now undergoing...

...final preparations at the Spaceport, while launcher components for the following flight have arrived in French Guiana, keeping up the pace to meet requirements of the company’s international customer base. Arianespace’s upcoming mission is scheduled for August 2nd with a dual payload consisting of the Intelsat 20 and HYLAS 2 telecommunications relay spacecraft. This flight is designated Flight VA208 in Arianespace’s numbering system, representing the 208th mission of an Ariane family launcher since the maiden liftoff of an Ariane 1 version in 1979.

HYLAS 2 is designed with the latest Ka-band technology to deliver high-speed, low-cost two-way data communications for its operator, Avanti Communications. Configured with 24 fixed beams and one steerable beam, the satellite will provide data capacity to an increasing range of telecommunications, enterprise and government customers in the fast-growing markets of Eastern and Southern Africa, the Middle East and across the Caucasus. Built by Orbital Sciences Corporation, HYLAS 2 has almost three times the bandwidth capacity of HYLAS 1 (which was launched by Arianespace in November 2010) to substantially increase Avanti Communications’ international coverage.

The Intelsat 20 passenger for Arianespace’s upcoming flight was produced by Space Systems/Loral for Intelsat. This relay platform’s C- and Ku-band payload is optimized for high-power distribution of video, voice and data network services, with the spacecraft to replace the Intelsat 7 and Intelsat 10 satellites, which are co-located at 68.5 degrees East.

The two passengers for Arianespace’s VA208 mission are shown in the S5 payload preparation facility at the Spaceport. At left, HYLAS 2 undergoes its fit check with the cone-shaped adapter that will serve as the interface with Ariane 5. In the center image, the Intelsat 20 team is assembled for a “family photo” with the spacecraft, which undergoes its fueling in the photo at right.
Photos are courtesy of Arianespace.

As the Intelsat 20 and HYLAS 2 payloads are being readied in the Spaceport’s S5 payload preparation facility, the French Guiana site also is busy with launcher activity. The Ariane 5 for Flight VA208 was transferred this week from the Spaceport’s Launcher Integration Building—where it was assembled—to the Final Assembly Building, where the Intelsat 20 and HYLAS 2 satellites will be installed atop the vehicle. Its rollout opens the Launcher Integration Building to receive the Ariane 5 for Flight VA209, which was delivered from Europe to the Spaceport earlier this month aboard the MN Toucan roll-on/roll-off transport ship.