Ariane 5 Scores 80th Consecutive Launch Success

Arianespace’s Ariane 5 Launches two Multi-Mission Satellites for Fixed and Mobile Services

(Source: Arianespace; issued June 28, 2017)

The 80th consecutive success for Arianespace’s heavy-lift Ariane 5 lofted two satellites today, delivering new capacity for use in the distribution of TV and video content, telecommunications services, mobile satellite services, data relay, along with coverage of search and rescue missions.

Orbited by Arianespace Flight VA238 from the Spaceport in French Guiana were a so-called “condosat” composed of two payloads for Hellas Sat and Inmarsat, along with a spacecraft for the Indian Space Research Organisation.

On its fourth mission at the service of Arianespace this year, the Ariane 5 had a payload lift performance estimated at 10,136 kg. to geostationary transfer orbit, maintaining the company’s sustained launch pace in 2017.

Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN deployed first in the mission

Ariane 5 ascends from the Spaceport in French Guiana on its 80th consecutive launch success.

Riding as the upper passenger on Flight VA238 was Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN, which integrated two relay payloads.

The payload for Hellas Sat 3 will expand this company’s business reach by providing direct-to-home (DTH) TV broadcast and telecommunications services, as well as the distribution of high-definition (HD) and ultra-high definition (UHD) video content in Europe, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. These fixed satellite services (FSS) and broadcast satellite services (BSS) include a cross-strap service between Europe and South Africa.

Christodoulos Protopapas, the CEO of Hellas Sat, congratulated Arianespace on successfully orbiting the Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN spacecraft, and said he was looking forward to the launch of his company’s next satellite – Hellas Sat 4 – scheduled on an Arianespace mission in 2018.

Keeping airline passengers connected while aloft

Also integrated on the Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN satellite is a relay payload for a system developed by Inmarsat with Deutsche Telekom to offer high-speed, high-capacity Wi-Fi connections for airline passengers.

Inmarsat is specialized in mobile satellite communications, and the first customer for this airborne connectivity is the International Airlines Group (AIG), which has begun equipping its aircraft and aims to have 90 percent of its short-haul fleet complete by early 2019.

Inmarsat Chief Technology Officer Michele Franci thanked Arianespace as part of the European effort that will bring cabin connectivity to passengers across Europe. “This satellite was riding on one of Europe’s best successes – Ariane,” he added.

Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN, built by Thales Alenia Space

Weighing an estimated 5,780 kg. at liftoff, Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN was produced by Thales Alenia Space using its Spacebus 4000C4 platform. With the satellite’s successful launch today, Arianespace has now orbited a total of 149 spacecraft built by the company – continuing a long-time partnership.

Bertrand Maureau, Executive Vice President – Telecommunications at Thales Alenia Space, acknowledged Ariane 5’s mission performance this evening, and noted that Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN was the fourth satellite from his company launched by Arianespace so far this year.

Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN also marks key milestones between Arianespace and the two operators: it is the ninth satellite launched at the service of Inmarsat, and the first orbited for Hellas Sat.

The dual-payload condosat has a total coverage area that includes spans Europe, the Middle East and sub-Saharan African regions, and will operate from a 39-deg. East orbital slot.

21 satellites launched by Arianespace for ISRO

GSAT-17 was the 21st spacecraft orbited by Arianespace for the Indian Space Research Organisation, extending a relationship that dates back to 1981 with launch of the APPLE experimental satellite.

Built by ISRO/ISAC (the ISRO Satellite Centre) utilizing the Standard I-3K satellite bus, GSAT-17 – with a mass at liftoff of 3,476 kg. – will expand the Indian national space agency’s current fleet of 17 telecommunications satellites. It is to provide continuity of Fixed Satellite Services (FSS) in Normal C and Upper Extended C bands, as well as Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) in S-band and Data Relay and Search & Rescue services in UHF band – operating from a final orbital position of 93.5 deg. East.

Dr. K. Sivan, Director of ISRO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Center, described Ariane 5’s launch this evening as “glorious,” and offered the Indian space organization’s “congratulations, complements and thanks to Arianespace for a wonderful job.”

Next up for Arianespace: Vega Flight VV10

Arianespace’s next mission is set for August 1, utilizing the lightweight vehicle Vega on a mission to Sun-synchronous orbit. Its two passengers will be OPTsat-3000 for the Italian Ministry of Defense, along with VenµS for the French and Israeli space agencies.


India's GSAT-17 Communication Satellite Launched Successfully

(Source: India Department of Space; issued June 29, 2017)

Today, GSAT-17 became India’s third communication satellite to successfully reach orbit in the past two months. GSAT-17 was launched in the early morning hours using the European Ariane 5 Launch Vehicle from Kourou, French Guiana.

The 3477 kg GSAT-17 carries communication payloads in C-band, Extended C-band and S-band for providing various services to the country. The satellite also carries equipment for meteorological data relay and satellite based search and rescue services.

After its lift-off at 0245 hrs (2:45 am) IST and a flight lasting about 39 minutes, GSAT-17 separated from the Ariane 5 upper stage in an elliptical Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 249 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 35,920 km, inclined at an angle of 3 degrees to the equator.

ISRO's Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka took over the command and control of GSAT-17 immediately after its separation from the launch vehicle. Preliminary health checks of the satellite revealed its normal functioning.

In the coming days, orbit raising manoeuvres will be performed to place GSAT-17 satellite in the Geostationary Orbit (36,000 km above the equator) by using the satellite’s propulsion system in steps.

During the final stages of its orbit raising operations, the two solar arrays and both the antenna reflectors of GSAT-17 will be deployed. Following this, the satellite will be put in its final orbital configuration. GSAT-17 will be positioned at its designated orbital slot in the geostationary orbit and will be co-located with some of the Indian operational geostationary satellites. Later, it is planned to turn on the communication payloads of the satellite. After the successful completion of all the in-orbit tests, GSAT-17 will be ready for operational use.


80th Consecutive Successful Launch for Ariane

(Source: Ariane Group; issued June 29, 2017)

EVRY, France --- For its fourth launch of the year and the third in just two months, Ariane 5 successfully completed its 80th consecutive successful mission, placing two telecommunications satellites in geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) from the European space port of Kourou (French Guiana).

The launch performance was 9,256 kg net mass for the satellites, or a gross mass of 10,136 kg (including the ACU [payload adapters], the SYLDA [Ariane dual launch system) and the LVA 3936 [Launch Vehicle Adaptor]).

The launcher continuous improvement program enabled the use of an optimized GTO orbit, with an inclination reduced to 3° in order to minimize the energy required for the satellites to reach their final orbit.

This continuous improvement of Ariane 5 contributes both to performance and the containment of production costs, and directly benefits the future Ariane 6, scheduled for its first flight in 2020.

“Completing three successful Ariane 5 launches between 4 May and 28 June is a new technical and operational achievement for the teams at ArianeGroup and its subsidiary Arianespace, supported by the entire European launcher industry. It again demonstrates the efficiency of the new European launcher governance for the operation of the Ariane 5 launch vehicle, while paving the way for the introduction of Ariane 6”, said Alain Charmeau, CEO of ArianeGroup. “It is one of the many reasons why I would again like to thank our teams for their talent and motivation, and the European Space Agency and CNES for their continued trust and support.”

Lead contractor for the Ariane 5 launchers and the future Ariane 6, Airbus Safran Launchers will change its name to ArianeGroup on 1 July of this year. This new identity underlines its status as an international group and further reinforces a coherent image with Arianespace, its 74%-owned subsidiary since 31 December 2016.

ArianeGroup coordinates an industrial network of more than 600 companies in 13 European countries (including more than 350 Small and Medium Enterprises). Airbus Safran Launchers oversees the entire industrial chain, from management of launcher performance to its final setting, supplying the flight software for the mission through the control of its production and its marketing via Arianespace. This chain includes equipment and structures, engines manufacturing, integration of the various stages and, finally, launcher integration in French Guiana.


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