Arianespace is expecting the launch of an Ariane 5 to take place on schedule on 25 July after the company transferred the launcher to the final assembly building at the Kourou, French Guiana, spaceport this month.

The mission's SES Astra 2B satellite has been mounted on the payload adapter, while the final pre-launch preparations for the second payload, GE Americom's GE-7 satellite, started on 10 July. The GE-7 will ride in the lower payload position on the launcher, which is housed in a Sylda 5 multiple deployment unit, while the Astra 2B will be installed on top and protected during the initial ascent phase by Ariane 5's payload fairing.

Arianespace hopes to conduct up to seven more missions before the end of the year, using a "fast-reaction" capability to make up for the slack April-July period, when satellite delivery delays forced the cancellations of launches.

Source: Flight International