Arianespace has given the go-ahead for a dual-payload Ariane 5 launch on May 27 from French Guiana that will orbit the DirecTV-15 and Sky México-1 direct-to-home relay satellites for digital television entertainment services. The green light for Flight VA223 was given after a launch readiness review, which is held prior to each Arianespace mission – confirming the “go” status of Ariane 5, as well as the Spaceport’s infrastructure and the downrange tracking station network.
With the readiness review now completed, all is set for next Tuesday’s rollout of Ariane 5, followed by an evening liftoff on May 27 during a launch window that opens at 6:16 p.m. (local time in French Guiana).
Lift performance for the mission is approximately 9,960 kg., which includes 9,200 kg. for the DirecTV-15 and Sky México-1 payloads, along with associated hardware for the launcher’s SYLDA dual-passenger dispenser system and satellite integration hardware.
DirecTV-15 is an Airbus Defence and Space-built satellite based on the Eurostar E3000 platform. It will provide services in the Ku-, Ka- and R-bands for customers of US-based DIRECTV.
Orbital ATK, Inc. produced the SKY México-1 spacecraft using its GEOStar-2 platform. Equipped with Ku- and R-band transponders, this spacecraft will be operated for SKY – which is owned by Mexico’s Grupo Televisa S.A.B. and DIRECTV.