ARIANESPACE FLIGHT VA222 / THOR 7 & SICRAL 2
THE ADDITIONAL LAUNCH READINESS REVIEW (RAL) took place in Kourou on Wednesday April 22, 2015 and authorized count-down operations for the THOR 7 & SICRAL 2 launch.
On the third launch of the year from the Guiana Space center in French Guiana, and the first with an Ariane 5, Arianespace will orbit satellites for two European operators:
THOR 7 for the private Norwegian company Telenor Satellite Broadcasting (TSBc), and SICRAL 2 for Telespazio, on behalf of the Italian Ministry of Defense and the French defense procurement agency DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement, part of the Ministry of Defense).
The year’s first mission with the Ariane 5 heavy launcher once again illustrates Arianespace’s assigned task of guaranteeing independent access to space for European operators from both the private and public sectors. Since being founded in 1980, Arianespace has placed 224 satellites into geostationary transfer orbit for customers from Europe.
It will be launched from the Ariane launch complex N° 3 (ELA3), in Kourou, French Guiana.
THE ARIANE 5 ECA LAUNCHER LIFT-OFF for this flight is scheduled on April 24, 2015 as soon as possible within the following launch window:
UT: Between 07:38 p.m. and 09:32 p.m. on April 24, 2015
KOUROU: Between 04:38 p.m. and 06:32 p.m. on April 24, 2015
PARIS: Between 09:38 p.m. and 11:32 p.m. on April 24, 2015
WASHINGTON: Between 03:38 p.m. and 05:32 p.m. on April 24, 2015
Ariane 5 reaches the ELA-3 launch zone for Arianespace’s upcoming heavy-lift mission
The Ariane 5 nears completion of its transfer from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building – where this heavy-lift vehicle received its THOR 7 and SICRAL 2 payloads – to the ELA-3 launch zone.
Ariane Flight VA222
Arianespace has delivered another Ariane 5 to the launch zone at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, positioning this workhorse heavy-lift vehicle for tomorrow’s flight with a pair of telecommunications satellites: THOR 7 and SICRAL 2.
The Ariane 5 rolled out today from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building to the ELA-3 launch zone, where it is scheduled for liftoff during a launch window that opens on April 24 at 4:38 p.m. local time in French Guiana.
For this 78th overall flight of an Ariane 5, the payload lift performance is estimated at 9,850 kg. – which includes a combined total of some 9,000 kg. for the two satellites, plus the launcher’s dual-passenger dispenser system and integration hardware.
Riding as the upper passenger in Ariane 5’s payload arrangement is THOR 7, which will be released at approximately 28 minutes into the mission. The spacecraft was built by SSL (Space Systems/Loral) for Telenor Satellite Broadcasting, and will operate from an orbital position of .8 deg. West.
THOR 7 is to serve the maritime sector, delivering high-powered coverage over the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea, the Red Sea, the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean. Also incorporated in this relay platform is a Ku-band payload for broadcast and television services in Central and Eastern Europe.
SICRAL 2 is a military telecommunications satellite developed in the framework of a turnkey contract that the Italian Defense Ministry and the French DGA armament agency (Direction Générale de l’Armement) have with Thales Alenia Space Italy; while Telespazio is responsible for the launch service. It will be deployed from Ariane 5’s lower passenger position at approximately 34 minutes after liftoff – completing the mission.
After the deployment by Ariane 5, SICRAL 2 – offering a design life of 15 years – will provide strategic and tactical telecommunications links for French and Italian military forces, as well as reserve capacity for other NATO nations.
Tomorrow’s Ariane 5 launch is designated VA222, signifying the 222nd liftoff of an Ariane-series vehicle since 1979. It also will mark Arianespace’s third flight in 2015 with a launcher from its three-member family – following the medium-lift Soyuz mission on March 27 that orbited two European Galileo FOC (Full Operational Capability) navigation satellites, and February 11’s lightweight Vega suborbital flight with Europe’s Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) spaceplane.
...Update: 13.45 MESZ
ARIANESPACE FLIGHT VA222
THOR 7 and SICRAL 2: LAUNCH DELAYED
During the final count-down operations for flight VA222 slated for today, an anomaly occurred on a conditioning equipment of the launcher. As a result, Arianespace has decided to bring back the launcher to the Final Assembly Building (BAF).
The launch vehicle and its THOR 7 and SICRAL 2 satellite payloads have been placed in stand-by mode and maintained in safe conditions.
The new launch date will be announced later today.
Arianespace Flight VA222
Ariane 5 ECA – THOR 7 and SICRAL 2:
Launch is scheduled for Sunday, April 26, 2015
The reconfiguration work and related checkout on the Ariane 5 ECA launcher are now complete.
The new targeted launch date for Flight VA222, to orbit the THOR 7 and SICRAL 2 satellites, is now slated for Sunday, April 26 at 4:37 p.m. local time in Kourou, French Guiana (3:37 p.m. in Washington D.C., 19:37 UTC and 9:37 p.m. in Paris).