IS-29e Launch: Satellite Attached to the Launcher
By Brian Sing, Senior Program Manager, Space Systems Acquisition
It has been an exciting few days here in French Guiana as we have continued preparations for the launch of Intelsat 29e, now less than a week away, on Wednesday, 27 January.
After the satellite was fueled, the Boeing and Arianespace teams moved it from the fueling facilities to the Final Assembly Building (BAF). That may not sound like much of an accomplishment, but the BAF is about five miles from the fueling facilities, and moving a fully-fueled satellite is no simple task. IS-29e had to be placed carefully into a mobile inter-facility trailer, complete with air, temperature and humidity control. Of course, these are the pros in the business, so the transfer was completed successfully to the BAF in no time at all.
The BAF is where the satellite meets its ride to orbit: the Ariane 5 rocket. Inside this cavernous building are clean room facilities large enough to accommodate the rocket. This is also where there is the equipment necessary to lift the satellite (attached to the adaptor) from the ground, up approximately 170 feet, to where it was loaded gently onto the top of the Ariane 5 second stage.
Once mated to the rocket, we conducted final checks of the satellite before the fairing was lowered over IS-29e (pictured) and attached atop the Ariane 5. That was the last time any human eyes will see IS-29e – except perhaps with a telescope once it’s in orbit!