Eutelsat 21B readies for November 9 liftoff.

October 24, 2012 05.47 Europe/London By Robert Briel

Eutelsat 21B and Star One C3, the two satellite passengers to be carried on Arianespaceís Flight VA210 are undergoing checkout at the Spaceport for their November 9 liftoff.

Thales Alenia Space-built Eutelsat 21B will have a liftoff mass of five metric tons, carrying 40 Ku-band transponders on its Spacebus 4000 platform. To operate at Eutelsatís 21.5 degrees East orbital position, the satellite will enable Eutelsat to boost capacity at this orbital slot by almost 50%.

The satellite will replace EutelsatĎs Eutelsat 21A craft at a core neighbourhood anchored for data, professional video and government services across Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Orbital Sciences Corporationís Star One C3 spacecraft for Brazilian communications service provider Star One S.A. has begun its pre-launch processing in the S5 payload preparation facility.

Star One C3 is based on Orbitalís GeoStar bus, and is to weigh in at under 3,200 kg. It is fitted with a hybrid payload to provide C- and Ku-band communications for the South American region.

Flight VA210 is the sixth Ariane 5 mission of 2012 from French Guiana. Arianespaceís five Ariane 5 missions conducted to date in 2012 from French Guiana have orbited eight satellites and one Automated Transfer Vehicle for servicing of the International Space Station.