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Ariane to launch Horizons 3e and Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38

By Robert Briel

The Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s dual-payload launch with the Horizons 3e and Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38 telecommunications satellites has rolled out to the launch zone at Europe’s Spaceport, clearing the way for the milestone 100th flight of this workhorse from French Guiana.

Riding atop one of two mobile launch tables for the heavy-lift vehicle, Ariane 5 has completed its transfer from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building – where payload integration occurred – to the dedicated ELA-3 launch complex. With this rollout completed, the final countdown will begin for a September 25 liftoff at the start of a 45-minute launch window opening at 6:53pm local time in French Guiana (21:53 GMT)
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The mission is designated Flight VA243, and it has an estimated payload performance of 10,827 kg. – a total that factors in Horizons 3e and Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38, plus the dual-satellite dispenser system and integration hardware. Both passengers are to be deployed to geostationary transfer orbit during a 42-minute flight sequence.

Horizons 3e is the mission’s upper passenger and will be released first in the flight sequence at 28 minutes after liftoff. Owned by a joint venture of Intelsat and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, this Boeing-built spacecraft will provide coverage for aeronautical and maritime mobility, fixed and wireless operators, as well as mobility and government customers. Horizons 3e also is the first satellite in Intelsat’s EpicNG spacecraft series to feature entire Ku-band spot beams utilizing multiport amplifiers that optimize power across the spacecraft.

Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38, produced by SSL, is to be deployed 14 minutes later from Ariane 5’s lower passenger position. Azerspace-2 is Azerbaijan’s second geostationary satellite and will be operated by Azercosmos. Intelsat 38 will provide Ku-band capabilities and deliver continuity of service for the Intelsat 12 satellite located at 45 deg. East.

As the fourth heavy-lift Ariane 5 flight so far in 2018, tomorrow’s mission will continue an active year for Arianespace’s full family of launchers, which also has included one flight each with the medium-lift Soyuz and the lightweight Vega.

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