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Final step in Ariane 5 latest performance improvement program decided in 2016, Flight VA253 brings the total increase in payload capacity to 300 kg since then.
The two of the three companies whose satellites are being launched are both long-standing customers Intelsat for 37 years and B-SAT for 23 years clearly proving the excellence of Arianespaces service offering and long-term customer relations.
The third, Northrop Grummans wholly-owned subsidiary, SpaceLogistics LLC, is a first-time customer to Arianespace.
Since the reopening of the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana, teams from Arianespace and ArianeGroup have focused on preparing this very innovative mission under the best possible conditions.
Satellites to be placed in orbit will serve Japanese B-SAT and operators Intelsat and Northrop Grummans SpaceLogistics LLC. BSAT-4b was built by the American company Maxar Technologies and will be used to broadcast Ultra-High-Definition (UHD, 4K and 8K) direct-to-home television broadcasting across Japan, in conjunction with its twin, BSAT-4a, also built by Maxar and launched by Arianespace in 2017.
The other two satellites on this mission were built by the American company Northrop Grumman: the Galaxy 30 UHD video distribution/broadcast and broadband satellite, built for the global network operator, Intelsat, will cover North America, and MEV-2 (Mission Extension Vehicle), a highly innovative satellite servicing vehicle designed to dock to satellites in orbit to provide life extension services. The first customer for MEV-2 will be the Intelsat 10-02 satellite, in geostationary orbit since 2004. MEV-2 will provide five years of service to this satellite.
Update: Liftoff is planned on Friday, July 31, 2020, as early as possible within the following launch window:
- Between 5:30 p.m. and 6:16 p.m. Washington, D.C. time,
- Between 6:30 p.m. and 7:16 p.m. Kourou, French Guiana time,
- Between 21:30 and 22:16 Universal time (UTC),
- Between 11:30 p.m. and 12:16 a.m. Paris time, in the night of July 31 to August 1st,
- Between 06:30 a.m. and 07:16 a.m. Japan time, in the morning of August 1st.
For further information, download the Flight VA253 Launch Kit by clicking here: http://www.arianespace.com/press-kits/
Follow the launch live at http://www.arianespace.com and on http://www.youtube.com/arianespace