Arianespace Completes Checkout of Athena-Fidus Satellite, Preps for First Heavy Mission of 2014

French DGA CNES Italy ASI

Athena-Fidus relay satellite is transferred to the S5 payload preparation center for its fueling. Photo: Arianespace

[Via Satellite 12-26-13] The joint French-Italian multipurpose satellite Athena-Fidus has finished its initial checkout at Arianespace’s spaceport. The spacecraft has a launch date on Jan 23rd, along with the SSL-built ABS 2 satellite. This will be Arianespace’s first launch of 2014.

Thales Alenia Space built the Athena-Fidus satellite on behalf of the French CNES and Italian ASI space agencies, as well as the French DGA and Italian Segredifesa defense ministry organizations. It will serve defense and security organizations with data transmission services through the use of EHF and Ka-band transponders.

ABS 2 is designed to provide ABS with multiple services including direct-to-home and cable television distribution, VSAT services, data networks, and telecommunications services. The satellite will deliver more than 12 kW of payload power, using up to 89 active transponders across 10 different beams. ABS 2 is expected to bring increased capacity and transmission power to the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, and the Commonwealth of Independent States/Russia.

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