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Arianespace Confirms BSAT-4b, Galaxy 30, MEV-2 Launch Date

By | July 21, 2020

Ariane 5 on the launch pad. Photo Credit: ESA

Arianespace has confirmed that it will launch its next three satellites on an expanded Ariane 5 rocket from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou at approximately 5:29 p.m. Tuesday, July 28.

This mission will take three critical spacecraft into orbit. The satellites to be launched are: Japan’s BSAT-4b, built by Maxar; Intelsat‘s Galaxy 30 UHD video satellite; and Northrop Grumman‘s (NGC) second in-orbit servicing spacecraft, the MEV-2 (Mission Extension Vehicle). NGC also built the Galaxy 30 satellite.

Once launched, BSAT-4b will join its counterpart, BSAT-4a in broadcasting Ultra-HD, 4K, and 8K to homes across across Japan. Arianespace launched BSAT-4a in 2017. Intelsat’s Galaxy 30 will provide UHD video distribution/broadcast and broadband satellite services to North America. MEV-2 will dock with satellites in orbit to provide life extension services, starting with Intelsat’s 10-02 satellite. Originally launched in 2004, Intelsat 10-02 will gain an additional five years of service if the MEV-2 functions as planned.

To accommodate these three spacecraft, Arianespace increased the payload capacity for its heavy-lift Ariane 5 rocket by 85 kg and introduced a new vehicle equipment bay (VEB), bringing total payload capacity into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) to 10,200 kg.