Headlines > News > Spaceport welcomes ASTRA 1L for Ariane 5's upcoming launch

Spaceport welcomes ASTRA 1L for Ariane 5's upcoming launch

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:16 pm
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The first of two satellite payloads for Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 mission is undergoing pre-launch preparations after arriving at the Spaceport in French Guiana late last week.

SES ASTRA’s ASTRA 1L spacecraft was flown into Cayenne’s Rochambeau International Airport aboard an Antonov An-124 heavy-lift airliner, and was transferred to the Spaceport’s S5 satellite preparation facility. The photo report provides the first look at ASTRA 1L as it enters it is readied for the early May dual-payload Ariane 5 flight with Intelsat’s Galaxy 17:

ASTRA 1L is surrounded by its support equipment in the S5C high bay area of the S5 satellite preparation facility. The S5C facility has a surface 679 sq. meters, and is linked to a 322-sq.-meter airlock, which is partly visible at the right.

ASTRA 1L is an A2100 AXS relay platform built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems. After its launch by Ariane 5, the spacecraft will join ASTRA satellites currently co-positioned at 19.2° East to operate as a replacement satellite for existing capacity and to strengthen ASTRA’s unique redundancy and customer security scheme.

The ASTRA 1L is lowered onto its cone-shaped payload adapter for a standard fit-check. This adapter serves as the interface with the Ariane 5 launcher. ASTRA 1L will be the ninth ASTRA satellite launched by Arianespace and the third to be orbited aboard an Ariane 5.

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