Ariane 5: Assembled and cleared for Arianespace’s history-making 100th launch on September 25
Arianespace’s upcoming mission from the Spaceport in French Guiana – which will mark the heavy-lift Ariane 5’s 100th launch – has been cleared for liftoff next week with a dual-satellite payload.
The authorization was provided following today’s Launch Readiness Review, which verified the heavy-lift Ariane 5’s “go” status, along with its Horizons 3e and Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38 passengers, the Spaceport’s infrastructure, and the network of flight-following ground stations.
Liftoff of the mission – designated Flight VA243 in Arianespace’s numbering system – is set for September 25 during a launch window that opens at 6:53 p.m. in French Guiana (21h53 UTC). Its two relay platforms are to be deployed into geostationary transfer orbit during a mission lasting 42 minutes. The payload mass is estimated to be 10,827 kg.
Activity at the Spaceport leading up to today’s Launch Readiness Review included completion of the launch vehicle’s integration in the Final Assembly Building for Ariane 5. During this process, Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38 was mated to Ariane 5’s core cryogenic stage, followed by installation of the ogive-shaped payload fairing containing Horizons 3e and the SYLDA dispenser system – enabling dual payloads to be carried by Arianespace’s heavy-lift launcher.
Horizons 3e – to be deployed from Ariane 5’s upper payload slot – is owned by a joint venture of Intelsat and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation. Built by Boeing using Intelsat’s EpicNG design, it will provide coverage for aeronautical and maritime mobility, fixed and wireless operators, as well as mobility and government customers. In addition, Horizons 3e is the first satellite in Intelsat’s EpicNGspacecraft series to feature entire Ku-band spot beams utilizing multiport amplifiers that optimize power across the spacecraft.
The Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38 co-passenger to be orbited by Flight VA243 from Ariane 5’s lower passenger position was produced by SSL, and is designed to provide a range of telecommunications relay duties at the service of its two operators – Intelsat and Azercosmos, a company owned by the government of Azerbaijan Republic.
Liftoff time for Flight VA243:
|French Guiana||UTC||Washington, D.C.||Baku||Paris|
6:53 p.m. and
7:38 p.m. on
5:53 p.m. and
6:38 p.m. on
1:53 a.m. and
2:38 a.m. on
11:53 p.m. and
12:38 a.m. on
A step closer to 100: Ariane 5 reaches the launch zone for tomorrow’s milestone mission
The Ariane 5 for Arianespace’s dual-payload launch with the Horizons 3e and Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38 telecommunications satellites has rolled out to the launch zone at Europe’s Spaceport, clearing the way for the milestone 100th flight of this workhorse from French Guiana.
Riding atop one of two mobile launch tables for the heavy-lift vehicle, Ariane 5 today completed its transfer from the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building – where payload integration occurred – to the dedicated ELA-3 launch complex. With this rollout completed, the final countdown will begin for a September 25 liftoff at the start of a 45-minute launch window opening at 6:53 p.m. local time in French Guiana.
Tomorrow’s mission is designated Flight VA243, and it has an estimated payload performance of 10,827 kg. – a total that factors in Horizons 3e and Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38, plus the dual-satellite dispenser system and integration hardware. Both passengers are to be deployed to geostationary transfer orbit during a 42-minute flight sequence.
Boosting telecommunications with Flight VA243
Horizons 3e is the mission’s upper passenger and will be released first in the flight sequence at 28 minutes after liftoff. Owned by a joint venture of Intelsat and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, this Boeing-built spacecraft will provide coverage for aeronautical and maritime mobility, fixed and wireless operators, as well as mobility and government customers. Horizons 3e also is the first satellite in Intelsat’s EpicNG spacecraft series to feature entire Ku-band spot beams utilizing multiport amplifiers that optimize power across the spacecraft.
Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38, produced by SSL, is to be deployed 14 minutes later from Ariane 5’s lower passenger position. Azerspace-2 is Azerbaijan’s second geostationary satellite and will be operated by Azercosmos. Intelsat 38 will provide Ku-band capabilities and deliver continuity of service for the Intelsat 12 satellite located at 45 deg. East.
As the fourth heavy-lift Ariane 5 flight so far in 2018, tomorrow’s mission will continue an active year for Arianespace’s full family of launchers, which also has included one flight each with the medium-lift Soyuz and the lightweight Vega.
Frams LIVE Launch V-V243
100th Ariane 5 launch a success, orbiting two satellites for Intelsat, SKY Perfect JSAT and Azercosmos
Arianespace has successfully launched two communications satellites: Horizons 3e for Intelsat and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, and Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38 for Azercosmos and Intelsat.
The launch took place on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 at 19:38 pm (local time) from the Guiana Space Center (CSG), Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana (South America).
This was Arianespace’s sixth mission of the year, as well as the 100th mission by the Ariane 5 heavy launcher. In 22 years of operations, Ariane 5 has orbited a total of 207 satellites.
Today’s launch also marked the 300th mission by the Arianespace family of launchers, reflecting the company’s ongoing role in support of leading satellite operators, both regional and global.
Ariane 5 No. 100: a total success
Today’s mission marks a double milestone in the history of Arianespace: the 100th launch of an Ariane 5 since this heavy launcher entered service in 1996, and the 300th launch for the Arianespace family of launchers, which currently comprises Ariane 5, the Soyuz medium launcher and the Vega light launcher. Including this latest mission, Ariane 5 has now orbited a total of 207 satellites for 68 customers, representing a combined weight of more than 790 metric tons.
In its 22-year career, Ariane 5 has been produced in five different versions: Ariane 5 G, G+, GS, ES and ECA.
The Ariane 5 ES has been launched eight times since 2008, while the Ariane 5 ECA has carried out 62 launches into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) since 2002. It has increased payload capacity by 15% since entering service and set a record for net payload weight into GTO on June 1, 2017, at 9,969 kg.
Over the years, Ariane 5 has clearly established itself as the benchmark launcher for geostationary missions, with 170 satellites injected into GTO, including 153 communications satellites. More than half of all satellites orbited by this heavy launcher were on behalf of non-European operators, making Ariane 5 an export champion.
Throughout its career, Ariane 5 has launched a number of emblematic European missions: XMM-Newton in 1999, Envisat in 2002, Rosetta in 2004, Hershel and Planck in 2009, five launches of the ATV resupply vessel for the International Space Station from 2008 to 2014, and three launches to date for Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system between 2016 and July 25, 2018. On October 19 of this year, Ariane 5 will boost the BepiColombo spacecraft towards Mercury, on a mission for the European Space Agency (ESA) in partnership with Japanese space agency JAXA.
The last batch of Ariane 5 rockets will be operated concurrently with Ariane 6 starting in 2020, before Ariane 6 reaches full operational capacity, which is slated for 2023.
A successful launch for three loyal customers: Intelsat, SKY Perfect JSAT and Azercosmos
Installed as Ariane 5’s upper passenger on today’s launch, Flight VA243, Horizons 3e is owned by a joint venture between Intelsat and SKY Perfect JSAT.
Horizons 3e completes the Intelsat EpicNG network’s global coverage. Featuring unrivaled performance, redundancy and resilience, it will offer high-speed broadband connectivity to mobile service providers and government customers. Horizons 3e will bring the next level of high-throughput services to the Asia-Pacific region and expanding coverage in the Pacific Ocean. The all-digital Horizons 3e payload represents a continued evolution of the award-winning Intelsat EpicNG platform.
Chicago-headquartered Boeing is the prime contractor of Horizons 3e.
Ariane 5 once again seamlessly supports the unique partnership between Intelsat, SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation and Arianespace, an alliance that reaches back over 35 years.
Installed as the lower passenger on this launch, Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38 is a multi-mission satellite that will be positioned at 45° East.
For the second time, Arianespace will support the development of Azercosmos – the premier satellite operator in the South Caucasus region – by launching Azerbaijan’s second geostationary satellite, Azerspace-2. It will be Azercosmos’ second telecommunications satellite and is to expand on the current capacity of Azerspace-1. The satellite will offer enhanced capacity, coverage and service offerings to support growing demand in the region for Direct-to-Home (DTH), government and network services in Europe, Central and South Asia, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Intelsat 38 will provide Ku-band capabilities and be located at 45° East. It will deliver continuity of service for the Intelsat 12 satellite and host Direct-to-Home television platforms for the Central and Eastern Europe and Asia-Pacific regions. The satellite will also provide critical broadband connectivity for corporate network and government services in Africa.
California-based SSL, a Maxar Technologies company, is the prime contractor of Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38.
Shortly after the announcement of the orbital injection of the two satellites, Stéphane Israël, Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace, said: “With this sixth launch of the year, Arianespace is proud to have placed its 100th Ariane 5 mission at the service of our American, Japanese and Azeri customers.”
“It clearly symbolizes the long string of successes achieved by our heavy launcher on the commercial export market, representing more than half of all satellites it has orbited. We are very honored that Intelsat, a key customer for Arianespace, entrusted us with two satellites on the same mission – the 60th and 61st we have orbited for the American operator since 1983.
“I would also like to congratulate SKY Perfect JSAT, which partnered with Intelsat on Horizons 3e, the 20th satellite we have launched for our Japanese partner. And I would like to thank Azercosmos, which is sharing the Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38 satellite with Intelsat, for having chosen us for their second geostationary satellite. Of course, my congratulations to Boeing and SSL, builders of Horizons 3e and Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38, respectively.
“In closing, my thanks go to all our partners on this latest Ariane 5 success: ArianeGroup and all companies involved in the construction of Ariane; ESA, which provides key support for the Ariane program; CNES, our ground segment companies and all staff at the space center. Congratulations to everyone at Arianespace who contributed to this very successful 300th mission by our family of launchers. The Ariane 5 story continues, with its next mission, to the planet Mercury, coming up next month!”