Arianespace’s final assembly building at the Spaceport in Kourou has welcomed its fourth Ariane 5 of 2011 as preparations in French Guiana advance for the upcoming mission with the Astra 1N and BSAT-3c/JCSAT-110R spacecraft.

This heavy-lift Ariane 5 ECA moved from the launcher integration building to the final assembly building last week, marking its delivery to Arianespace by vehicle prime contractor EADS Astrium. With this step completed, the workhorse vehicle is now ready for integration of its dual-satellite payload.

The upcoming mission with Astra 1N and BSAT-3c/JCSAT-110R is scheduled for liftoff from French Guiana on July 1, continuing Arianespace’s launch cadence for 2011.

It will follow Arianespace’s three previous launches of 2011: on May 20 with the ST-2 and GSAT-8 payloads; on April 22, orbiting the Yahsat Y1A and Intelsat New Dawn spacecraft; and on February 16 with the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) Johannes Kepler.