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SES-15 readying for launch

Launch company Arianespace says that SES-15 is in the final stages of its upcoming mission, scheduled for May 18th, to orbit the satellite.

This time, however, SES is using the smaller Soyuz rocket but the launch will still take place from the spaceport at French Guiana. Indeed, this is the first time that SES has used a Soyuz rocket, although the 40th launch handled by Arianespace on behalf of SES.

Next week’s mission is set for a May 18th lift-off in the morning hours from the Spaceport’s Soyuz Launch Complex (ELS) in Sinnamary, French Guiana, delivering SES-15 into a sub-geostationary transfer orbit. The mission is designated Flight VS17 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system, signifying the 17th Soyuz lift-off from the spaceport.

SES-15 is going to a new orbital position for SES, at 129 degrees West. The satellite itself is built by Boeing and is one of their 702SP models, and is equipped with Xenon-Ion electric propulsion for orbit-raising and on-orbit manoeuvres.

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