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Three U.S.-built satellites in French Guiana for Ariane 5 launch

Posted On: 8 Jul 2020   |   Posted By: Spaceflight Now

Three U.S.-built satellites in French Guiana for Ariane 5 launch

Northrop Grumman's second Mission Extension Vehicle and Intelsat's Galaxy 30 communications satellite were shipped from Dulles, Virginia, to French Guiana, in late June. Credit: Northrop Grumman
The next flight of Europe's heavy-lift Ariane 5 rocket, set for July 28 from French Guiana, will carry a record payload of three multi-ton satellites toward geostationary orbit, including a pair of U.S.-built commercial communications payloads and Northrop Grumman's second robotic satellite servicing spacecraft.
The Ariane 5 is one of the most powerful rockets in the world, typically carrying two large satellites at a time on missions toward geostationary orbit more than 22,000 miles over the equator. The Ariane 5 launches with a carbon fiber structure inside its payload fairing, giving the rocket upper and lower berths inside the nose shroud.
But the Ariane 5's next mission will loft three spacecraft, each with a launch weight of several tons. Two of the satellites will fit together inside...

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