The mission space continues: DIRECTV-15 arrives for Arianespace’s heavy-lift Ariane 5 flight

DIRECTV-15, arrives, for, Arianespace’s , teletimes, internationalThe Spaceport is continuing its sustained mission pace in support of Arianespace’s 2015 launch schedule, with the initial payload having now arrived in French Guiana for another of its heavy-lift Ariane 5 missions.

DIRECTV-15 was delivered to French Guiana, aboard a chartered Antonov An-124 cargo jetliner that landed at Félix Eboué Airport near the capital city of Cayenne.  Protected in a 14-meter-long shipping container, the broadcast relay satellite was unloaded and transferred by road to the Spaceport, where it now is being readied for pre-launch checkout in the S5 payload preparation facility.

This spacecraft will be one of two passengers for an Arianespace heavy-lift mission in May, which is designated VA223 in the company’s numbering system.

The DIRECTV-15 satellite was built by Airbus Defence and Space and will have a liftoff mass of approximately 6,200 kg.  As one of the most powerful broadcast satellites ever built for the United States (with an 18-kW end-of-life power), the relay platform will provide additional services for more than 20 million customers of DIRECTV – a world-leading digital television entertainment services provider.