Amazonas 4A is prepared for Arianespace launch

February 14, 2014 05.48 Europe/London By Robert Briel

Pre-launch checkout is now underway in French Guiana with Amazonas 4A, one of two satellite passengers to be orbited on March

Amazonas 4A currently is in the Spaceport’s S1B clean room facility, having been removed from the shipping container that protected this spacecraft during its voyage to French Guiana aboard a chartered cargo jetliner earlier
this month.

Designed and built by Orbital Sciences Corporation based on its GEOStar-2 platform, Amazonas 4A will provide enhanced relay capacity over Latin America and an extended range of communications and television services for operator Hispasat. After deployment by Ariane 5, it will operate from an orbital position of 61 deg. West.

Amazonas 4A is outfitted with 24 Ku-band active transponders for its mission, and has a liftoff mass of approximately 3,000 kg. The spacecraft offers a design life set at 15 years.

Joining Amazonas 4A on Ariane 5′s upcoming flight is the Airbus Defence and Space-built Astra 5B satellite, which will extend operator SES’ transponder capacity and geographical reach over Eastern Europe and neighboring markets – delivering direct-to-home, direct-to-cable and contribution feeds to digital terrestrial television networks. It also carries a hosted L-band
payload for the European Commission’s European Geostationary NavigationOverlay Service (EGNOS).