[Satnews] Arianespace's first Ariane 5 for liftoff in 2016 has rolled out to the launch zone in French Guiana, clearing the way for tomorrow's mission at the service of this workhorse vehicle's leading commercial customer: Intelsat.
Riding atop a mobile launch table, Ariane 5 today completed its 2,600-meter transfer from the Spaceport's Final Assembly Building, where the Intelsat 29e satellite passenger was integrated, to the dedicated ELA-3 launch complex.
This paves the way for tomorrow's mission, designated Flight VA228 in Arianespace's numbering system—which is scheduled to lift off in a 1 hour, 20 minute. launch window that opens January 27 at 8:20 p.m. local time in French Guiana.
For this 228th launch of an Ariane-series vehicle to date, the payload lift performance is approximately 6,700 kg, with Intelsat 29e being deployed to geostationary transfer orbit during a flight sequence lasting just under 30 minutes.
The Boeing-built Intelsat 29e payload is Intelsat's initial next-generation high-throughput EpicNG-series satellite. Operating in the C-, Ku- and Ka- frequency bands, it will offer enterprise-grade broadband services to fixed and mobile network operators, aero and maritime mobility service providers, along with government customers.
After its deployment by Ariane 5, Intelsat 29—which will become the 56th Intelsat satellite launched by Arianespace to date—is to operate from an orbital position of 310 degrees East.
The January 27 mission opens another busy year of activity for Arianespace, with an objective of performing up to 11 flights,including as many as eight by Ariane 5, which would be a new all-time record for the heavy-lift launcher.