Published: 07.09 Europe/London, May 27, 2011

The Astra 1N satellite is undergoing initial checkout in French Guiana, as preparations move forward at the Spaceport for a dual-passenger Ariane 5 mission set for July 1.

This activity with the Astra 1N relay platform is taking place in the Spaceportís S5 payload processing facility where it already has completed its fit-check validation, clearing the way for additional milestones such as fueling prior to the integration on Ariane 5.

Astra 1N is built by EADS Astrium based on the companyís E3000 platform, the satellite will have a liftoff mass of more than 5,300 kg. The spacecraft is designed for a nominal lifetime of 15 years.

Following its deployment by Ariane 5, Astra 1N initially will provide interim capacity from an orbital position of 28.2 degrees East, and subsequently will be moved to this operatorís prime location at 19.2 degrees East for primary and backup services.

Joining Astra 1N on Ariane 5′s upcoming mission in July will be the BSat-3c/JCSat-110R telecommunications platform, which was manufactured by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems.