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Bad weather hits Ariane triple launch

August 14, 2020

Arianespace has delayed its planned launch of 3 satellites on a single Ariane-5 rocket on August 14th, blaming bad weather.

Arianespace says it is hoping that the weather conditions will have eased by August 15th.

Timings are:
Between 5:33 p.m. and 6:20 p.m. Washington, D.C. time,
Between 6:33 p.m. and 7:20 p.m. Kourou, French Guiana time,
Between 21:33 and 22:20 Universal time (UTC),
Between 11:33 p.m. and 12:20 a.m. Paris time, in the night of August 15th to 16th,
Between 06:33 a.m. and 07:20 a.m. Japan time, in the morning of August 16th.

Arianespace says its Flight VA253 – which will utilize an increased-lift Ariane 5 version – is planned to carry to geostationary transfer orbit and deploy two telecommunications satellites: Galaxy 30 for Intelsat, and BSAT-4b for B-SAT, both of which are long-time Arianespace customers. Also carried by Ariane 5 is the Mission Extension Vehicle-2 (MEV-2) for Northrop Grumman’s wholly-owned subsidiary, SpaceLogistics LLC, which is a first-time user of Arianespace launch services.

Galaxy 30 was built by Northrop Grumman for Intelsat and will be the first payload deployed during the Ariane 5 mission. This satellite is to provide UHD video distribution/broadcast and broadband services that cover North America.

MEV-2 is stacked under Galaxy 30 on Ariane 5, and is to be the second payload released during Flight VA253. The SpaceLogistics LLC-built spacecraft is designed to offer life extension services for in-orbit satellites, and its initial target is the Intelsat 10-02 relay platform, which has been in geostationary orbit since 2004.

Completing Flight VA253’s mission sequence will be the deployment of BSAT-4b, configured for 4K and 8K, DTH broadcasting across Japan. Built by Maxar Technologies, BSAT-4b will be operated by Japan’s Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT).

The launcher configuration used for Flight VA253 marks the final step in Ariane 5’s latest performance improvement programme, which was decided in 2016 and has increased the launch vehicle’s total payload capacity by 300 kg. ArianeGroup is production prime contractor for Ariane 5, delivering the launcher to Arianespace for operation.

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