Ariane 5 With DIRECTV-14 and GSAT-16 Payloads Set to Launch

©Arianespace

Ariane 5 With DIRECTV-14 and GSAT-16 Payloads Set to Launch

Ariane 5 is now at the ELA-3 launch complex for its December 4 mission in service of two long-standing Arianespace customers: DIRECTV and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

During activity at the Spaceport today, the workhorse heavy-lift vehicle - with its DIRECTV-14 and GSAT-16 dual-passenger payload - was transferred atop its mobile launch table from the Final Assembly Building to the dedicated Ariane 5 launch zone.

Designated Flight VA221 in the company's numbering system, Arianespace's sixth heavy-lift mission of the year is scheduled to lift off tomorrow during a 1-hr., 10-min. launch window that opens at 5:38 p.m. local time in French Guiana.

As the seventh satellite to be lofted by Arianespace with a DIRECTV payload, DIRECTV-14 is the mission's upper passenger and will be released first in the flight sequence at nearly 28 minutes after liftoff. Built by SSL (Space Systems/Loral), DIRECTV-14 is a 20-kilowatt class Ka-band and reverse-band digital broadcast satellite that will deliver Ultra HD and other new consumer services for DIRECTV.

GSAT-16 - which is installed in the vehicle's lower position - will be the 18th satellite launched by Arianespace for ISRO and is to be separated at just over 32 minutes after liftoff to complete Ariane 5's mission. Carrying Ku- and C-band transponders to further augment communication services across India, the GSAT-16 spacecraft was developed by the country's ISRO space agency.

Watch the launch.

Launch Time:

GMT Time: Between 08:38 p.m. and 09:48 p.m.
Local Time (Kourou, French Guiana): Between 05:38 p.m. and 06:48 p.m.
Eastern Time: Between 03:38 p.m. and 04:48 p.m.

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