DirecTV-15, the pay-TV broadcaster’s latest satellite, has been placed into position atop the giant Ariane-5 launch rocket in Kourou, French Guiana. It is currently scheduled to launch on May 27th.
DirecTV-15 is the main passenger on the rocket. But just below it sits a smaller satellite, Sky Mexico-1, which will serve Mexico and is part-owned by DirecTV and Mexico’s Grupo Televisa broadcaster.
DirecTV-15 is a massive 30-transponder satellite, weighing 6200 kgs, and carrying Ku, Ka and R (Reverse) bands. It will be positioned at 103 degrees West and provide coverage over the USA, as well as Hawaii. The satellite’s builder, Airbus Defense & Space, have described the craft as the “most powerful US broadcast satellite ever built”.
The satellite will also boost the amount of capacity that DirecTV has available for 4K services. The satellite will join DirecTV-14, launched in December 2014, and also earmarked for 4K transmissions.