Arianespace's next Ariane 5 flight enters the final payload integration phase


The seventh Ariane 5 for liftoff in 2012 from French Guiana has begun its final payload integration process at the Spaceport , marking a new preparatory step for this December 19 mission with the Mexsat Bicentenario and Skynet 5D satellites.

During activity in the Spaceport's Final Assembly Building, Mexsat Bicentenario was positioned atop Ariane 5's core section - becoming the lower passenger in the launcher's payload "stack." It will be deployed after the separation of Skynet 5D, which will ride as the Ariane 5's upper passenger.

Mexsat Bicentenario is based on Orbital Sciences Corporation's GEOStar-2 spacecraft platform, and has been designed to generate approximately 3.5 kilowatts of payload power for 12 active extended Ku-band and 12 active extended C-band transponders. Liftoff mass of the telecommunications satellite is approximately 2,900 kg.

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