Its final flight of 2014 is yet to leave the launch pad, but Arianespace is already preparing for the first activity of the New Year.

On December 4, Flight VA221 will deliver the new DIRECTV-14, as part of the broadcaster’s plans for Ultra HD, and the Indian GSAT-16.

In the spring Ariane Flight VA222 will carry Telenor Satellite Broadcasting’s Thor 7 and the Sicral 2 telecommunications platform for Telespazio, on behalf of the French and Italian military forces.

Last week the vehicle started its build-up in the dedicated Launcher Integration Building, where the cryogenic core stage was raised into place over one of two mobile launch tables available for the heavy-lift Arianespace workhorse.

The activity is being carried out by prime contractor Airbus Defence and Space, which will deliver the Ariane 5 to Arianespace for payload integration, final checkout and launch.

Thor 7 will be positioned in Ariane 5’s upper passenger position, with Sicral 2 located below it in the SYLDA dispenser system

Flight VA222 will be the 222nd liftoff of an Ariane family vehicle from the Spaceport.