The authorisation was provided after the Launch Readiness Review, which confirmed the status of this mission’s heavy-lift Ariane 5, its payload of the Arabsat-6B (BADR-7) and GSAT-15 telecommunications relay platforms, as well as the ground-based tracking network that will follow the trajectory to satellite deployment into geostationary transfer orbit.
Planned during a 43-minute launch window that opens at 6:34 pm (local time in French Guiana), the Ariane 5 mission will have a total payload lift performance of 9,810 kg. This includes the two satellites’ mass at liftoff – 5,798 kg. for Arabsat-6B and 3,164 kg. for GSAT-15 – along with launcher integration hardware and Ariane 5’s dual-passenger deployment system.
Arabsat-6B, to be renamed BADR-7 once in orbit, will be the ninth satellite orbited by Arianespace for use by the operator Arabsat, based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It is the initial sixth-generation satellite for Arabsat’s fleet, providing broadcast, broadband and telecommunications services over the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia.
The spacecraft will be launched by Arianespace for Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space as part of their turnkey contract with Arabsat. Airbus Defence and Space supplied the Eurostar E3000 platform and handled satellite integration, while Thales Alenia Space supplied the telecommunications relay payload.
GSAT-15 is designed to deliver telecommunications services, along with dedicated navigation-aid and emergency services, for India. Built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), it will be the 19th payload launched by Arianespace for this customer – which is one of the world’s six largest space agencies.