The HISPASAT Amazonas 3 satellite for Arianespace's first Ariane 5 mission of 2013 has arrived in French Guiana, marking the start of payload preparations for this year-opening dual-passenger flight from the Spaceport.
Amazonas 3 was delivered by a chartered An-124 cargo jetliner, which touched down at Felix Eboue Airport near Cayenne, the capital city of French Guiana.
Built by Space Systems/Loral in Palo Alto, California, the satellite is based on the company's LS1300 platform, and will have a liftoff mass of 6.2 metric tons. After deployment by Ariane 5, it is to be located at a 61o West orbital position - enabling the spacecraft to offer coverage across the entire American continent, along with Europe and North Africa.
Amazonas 3 will operate in the Ka-, Ku- and C-bands, with its novel Ka-band payload positioning the HISPASAT Group as Latin America's first operator capable of offering interactive services and multimedia applications via satellite to a large number of users. The relay platform has a designed operating lifetime of more than 15 years.
In addition to providing expanded Internet access in the region, other services will be available via Amazonas 3, including television broadcasting, the deployment of corporate fixed and mobile telephone networks, along with tele-education and tele-medicine, broadband and integrated communications solutions for telecommunications operators.
Amazonas 3 will be orbited by Ariane 5 along with the Azerspace/Africasat-1a telecommunications satellite on a mission set for February 7. This is the first of six heavy-lift Ariane 5 launches planned by Arianespace in another busy year of activity at the Spaceport. Also scheduled during 2013 are four medium-lift Soyuz flights and one with the new light-lift Vega from French Guiana. This will be complemented by a Soyuz liftoff at Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome, operated under the responsibility of Arianespace's Euro-Russian Starsem subsidiary.