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March 9th, 2015

Sicral-2 Joins THOR 7 In French Guiana For Arianespace Launch

[SatNews] Both payloads for Arianespace’s first heavy-lift Ariane 5 mission of 2015 are now in French Guiana, with arrival of the Sicral 2 satellite this week.

In the photo at left, Sicral 2 is unloaded from a cargo jetliner at Félix Eboué International Airport in French Guiana, prior to its transfer by road to the Spaceport (right).

Photos are courtesy of Arianespace.

Delivered aboard a cargo jetliner, Sicral 2 landed at Félix Eboué International Airport near French Guiana’s capital city of Cayenne and was transferred by road to the Spaceport, where it is scheduled for an April liftoff on a dual-passenger mission. Sicral-2 is a military telecommunications satellite that will provide strategic and tactical telecommunications links for French and Italian military forces, as well as reserve telecommunications capacity for other NATO nations. The spacecraft will be launched in the framework of a turnkey contract that the Italian Defense Ministry and the French DGA armament agency (Direction Générale de l’Armement) have with Thales Alenia Space Italy. Telespazio, among other things, is responsible for the launch service.

On Ariane 5 Flight VA222, Sicral 2 is to be joined by THOR 7, a communications satellite for Telenor Satellite Broadcasting (TSBc). Produced by SSL (Space Systems/Loral), THOR 7 is equipped with 11 Ku-band transponders for broadcast services in Central and Eastern Europe, and a Ka-band payload to meet the growing demand for broadband communications within the offshore sector.

Follow Arianespace's launch activity at: http://www.arianespace.com.