Hylas-1 in place for launch

26 November 2010

Hylas-1 reached its launch site yesterday, still on schedule for today’s Ariane 5 launch to orbit from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

The innovative telecommunications satellite had already been sealed within its Ariane 5 launch fairing, alongside co-passenger Intelsat 17. This took place in the Final Assembly Building last Friday, 21 November.

So on 25 November, the complete launcher plus its payloads were transferred on a huge 2000-tonne mobile launch platform to the Ariane Launch Complex No.3.

Hylas-1 and Intelsat 17 under launch fairingAccess the image

A powerful diesel truck pulled the platform along the 2-km long road to the launch site, sticking to a maximum speed limit of 5 km/h. The entire journey took about half an hour.

The mission remains on track for launch today, with promising weather reports for this evening, within a launch window between 19.39 and 22.54 CET. The launch can be seen live from ESA’s Hylas-1 mini-site (see right hand link).

Providing European broadband coverage as well as TV distribution and other services, Hylas-1 is ESA’s first public-private partnership to result in an operational mission. ESA’s contribution centres on Hylas-1’s advanced communications payload. The bulk of the mission is financed by commercial operator Avanti Communications.

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