HOT BIRD 7A begins pre-flight preparations for its upcoming Ariane 5 ECA launch.
Eutelsat’s HOT BIRD 7A satellite is undergoing initial checkout at the Spaceport’s S5 payload preparation facility following its arrival in French Guiana late last week.
The telecommunications platform, which was produced by Europe’s Alcatel Alenia Space, was airlifted to French Guiana late last week, and has now been removed from the large container that protected the spacecraft during its transatlantic trip.
HOT BIRD 7A will be joined by the Spanish SPAINSAT spacecraft for a trademark dual launch that is scheduled for February 21. This mission will use the heavy-lift version of Arianespace’s workhorse Ariane 5.
Based on Alcatel Alenia Space’s Spacebus 3000B3 platform, HOT BIRD 7A will have a mass at liftoff of more than 4 metric tons, and its solar panels are to deliver 10 kW of electrical power. The satellite carries 38 Ku-band transponders and its targeted operating lifetime is 15 years.