The Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s upcoming mission from French Guiana is now complete following integration of its two satellite passengers: SES-14 for operator SES and Yahsat’s Al Yah 3 – both of which will be delivered to geostationary transfer orbit on a flight planned for January 25th.
Encapsulated in the ogive-shaped protective fairing, SES-14 has been positioned atop Al Yah 3 – which was installed on the launcher’s cryogenic core stage during previous activity inside the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building for Ariane 5.
These successive integration steps enable a new series of preparation milestones to begin. They include the launch readiness review on January 23rd, which is to be followed by Ariane 5’s rollout to the ELA-3 launch zone the next day.
Liftoff is scheduled during a 45-min. launch window opening January 25th at 7:20 p.m. local time in French Guiana, with the two spacecraft to be deployed on a flight lasting approximately 35 minutes.
Ariane 5 will deliver a total payload lift performance of more than 9,100 kg. during the mission – with this combined mass factoring in SES-14 and Al Yah 3, plus the launch vehicle’s dual-passenger dispenser system and satellite integration hardware.
Next week’s mission is designated VA241, marking the 241st flight using an Ariane vehicle since this European series of launchers entered service in 1979. It kicks off another busy year of activity for Arianespace, which has the objective of performing as many as 14 missions in 2018 with its full launcher family – consisting of the heavy-lift Ariane 5, medium-lift Soyuz and lightweight Vega.