The second passenger for Arianespace's next heavy-lift Ariane 5 mission - Mexsat Bicentenario - has arrived in French Guiana.
Built by satellite manufacturer Orbital Sciences Corporation, this telecommunications satellite will have an estimated liftoff mass of 2.900 kg. It is based on Orbital's GEOStar-2 spacecraft platform and will generate approximately 3.5 kilowatts of payload power, carrying 12 active extended Ku-band and 12 active extended C-band transponders.
Mexsat Bicentenario will provide communications services to Mexico and its surrounding waters from the 114.9 deg. West Longitude orbital slot, with a design mission lifetime of 15 years.
Orbital was selected by Boeing to provide the Fixed Satellite Services (FSS) segment of the Mexsat satellite system for the Federal Government of Mexico, with this contribution consisting of the Mexsat Bicentenario spacecraft and the FSS ground segment - including the satellite command and control ground equipment and software, as well as training and operational documentation.
Mexsat Bicentenario was delivered to French Guiana's Felix Eboue Airport this week aboard a chartered Boeing 747 cargo aircraft, and is joining the Skynet 5D military communications satellite that recently arrived in French Guiana for its pre-launch checkout at the Spaceport.
Skynet 5D and Mexsat Bicentenario will be orbited on December 19 by an Ariane 5, marking Arianespace's seventh mission in 2012 with this heavy-lift workhorse launcher. The year-ending Ariane 5 flight is designated VA211 in the Arianespace mission numbering system, designating the 211th Ariane mission since the family of European-built launch vehicles entered service in 1979.