The Ariane 5 rolled out from the Launcher Integration Building – where its core cryogenic stage, two solid boosters and cryogenic upper stage were mated by industrial architect Airbus Defence and Space – to the Final Assembly Building for delivery to Arianespace.
Now under Arianespace’s responsibility, the launcher is set for integration of its payloads – the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) GSAT-16; and DirecTV-14, which was built by SSL (Space Systems/Loral) for operator DirecTV.
This activity will be followed by the final verifications and subsequent transfer to the ELA-3 launch zone in advance of the scheduled December 4 liftoff.
This upcoming heavy-lift flight is designated VA221 in Arianespace’s numbering system, signifying the 221st flight of an Ariane family vehicle since 1979.
DirecTV 14 is a high-capacity spacecraft that will use Ka-band and the new “Reverse” DBS band to expand HD and other new consumer services. This satellite will be the sixth SSL-built satellite in DirecTV’s fleet based on the 1300 satellite platform.
This satellite will provide service for users across the US (including Hawaii and Alaska) and Puerto Rico.