May 5, 2015 – Ariane Flight VA223

The Spaceport is busy with activity for Ariane 5’s next mission from French Guiana, with the heavy-lift launcher now delivered to Arianespace and its two satellite passengers continuing their checkout process.

During activity in the Spaceport’s central zone today, Ariane 5 was moved from the Launcher Integration Building – where it underwent the basic build-up process by industrial prime contractor Airbus Defence and Space – to the Final Assembly Building. This step marks the transfer of responsibility to Arianespace for the payload integration, final validations and launch.

At the same time, the two passengers are being readied for their liftoff. Both satellites on this upcoming mission, designated Flight VA223 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system, are for the same customer: DIRECTV, which is one of the world’s leading providers of digital television entertainment services with more than 37 million customers in the U.S. and Latin America.

DirecTV-15 will ride in Ariane 5’s upper passenger position and is among the most powerful broadcast satellites ever built for the United States. Produced by Airbus Defence and Space using the Eurostar E3000 platform, it will provide services in the Ku-, Ka- and R-bands.

SKY Mexico-1 is an Orbital ATK, Inc.-built satellite based the GEOStar-2™ platform and carries Ku- and R-band transponders. It will be situated in the lower slot of Ariane 5’s payload arrangement, contained in the SYLDA dispenser system.