[Satnews] The Arabsat-6B and GSAT-15 telecommunications satellites are now in French Guiana—setting the stage for Arianespace’s next heavy-lift mission, which is scheduled for an early November liftoff.
Arabsat-6B was delivered to Felix Eboué International Airport near French Guiana’s capital city of Cayenne earlier this month via cargo aircraft. The satellite joins GSAT-15 in French Guiana, which previously was airlifted to the South American country in preparation for Arianespace’s sixth Ariane 5 flight of 2015. As part of this familiar step in mission preparations, satellites delivered via cargo jetliner are unloaded at Felix Eboué International Airport then readied for transfer by road to the Spaceport for on-site payload processing, including fit-checks, fueling and integration with launcher.
Arabsat-6B is being orbited in the framework of a turnkey contract between Airbus Defence and Space, along with Thales Alenia Space, and operator Arabsat—an Arab League intergovernmental organization. Once operational, the approximately 6,100 kg relay platform will provide telecommunications and TV broadcasting services for the Middle East and Africa.
India’s Indian Space Research Organisation national space agency developed the GSAT-15 spacecraft, which will have a mass of some 3,150 kg and deliver C- and Ku-band telecommunication services.
Designated Flight VA227 in Arianespace’s numbering system, this November mission will be the 227th with an Ariane series vehicle, as well as the company’s 10th overall launch in 2015 across its complete launcher family, which also comprises the lightweight Vega and medium-lift Soyuz.