Arianespace plans to send one satellite service vehicle – along with two satellites – into space today (July 31) and you can watch the launch online.
The launch will take place between 18:30 and 19:16 local time in Kourou, French Guiana (17:30 and 18:16 EDT, or 2130 and 2216 GMT). You can watch the launch live here and on the main page of Espai.com, courtesy of Arianespace. You can also tune in to Arianespace’s webcast on YouTube. The webcast will start about 20 minutes before the stop.
This release will be the fifth Arianespace in 2020. The mission was delayed from the previous Tuesday̵7;s launch date (July 28) due to “additional technical revisions needed in the hull frame and Ariane’s dual-launch system” Arianespace said in a statement, but the satellites are also ready to go.
Related: Two private satellites have just entered space in the historic first
The satellite service spacecraft, called Mission Extension Vehicle 2 (MEV-2) on the Ariane 5 rocket is the second to be built by Northrop Grumman subsidiary SpaceLogistics LLC for satellite communications provider Intelsat. The first MEV, MEV-1, In the first month of February it carried out a first historical berth with the Intelsat satellite and an IS-901, which was low in fuel. The long-term goal of the MEV series is to supply and service aged satellites in orbit to expand their missions, which could be a cheaper option than sending a replacement satellite.
With the MEV-1 mission considered a success in April: the Intelsat-901 satellite returned to normal operation that month, Intelsat said in a statement – The MEV-2 is scheduled to be launched with another Intelsat satellite, called Intelsat 1002.
“Once docked [MEV-2] it will control the orbit of the customer’s satellite using its own propellers, ”Arianespace said he said in a statementHe adds that the vehicle will be available for other missions once the Intelsat satellite is serviced.
The MEV-2 will consist of an Intelsat satellite called the Galaxy 30, the first replacement satellite in a larger effort to replace the aging communications satellites of the American galaxy Intelsat. The new satellites will offer a high-definition media service that will allow customers to divert companies for direct satellite transmission and a range of broadband, mobile and network services, Arianespace said in the same communiqué.
As an end to payloads, the Maxar BSAT-4b satellite launched on behalf of Japan’s Japanese satellite transmission system. The satellite will be used for live television services in Japan and will serve as a backup for the similar BSAT-4a, which launched in September 2017.
Today’s launch will be Ariane’s 253rd global mission. Arianespace is developing a successor rocket, Ariane 6, which will eventually replace the launch services provided by the Ariane 5 elevated transport.
Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and Facebook.