Ariane 5 undertakes payload launch for three providers from French Guiana


Arianespace’s Ariance 5 VA-238 has launched the Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN condosat, which comprises two payloads for operators Hellas Sat and Inmarsat, as well as the GSAT-17 satellite for Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

The lift-off took place on 28 June at 6:15pm (local time) from the Guiana Space Center (CSG), Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

The Hellas Sat 3 payload will help Hellas Sat to provide direct-to-home (DTH) TV broadcast and telecommunications services, as well as distribute high-definition (HD) and ultra-high definition (UHD) video content in Europe, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.

The payload is the first to be orbited by Arianespace and the second for Hellas Sat.

For mobile satellite communications provider Inmarsat, Inmarsat S EAN is the ninth payload orbited by Arianespace since the lift-off of MARECS A in 1981.

"Today’s launch was the 80th success in a row for Ariane 5 over a period of 14 years, an exceptional performance that anchors its position as the most reliable commercial launcher in the marketplace."

This latest payload consists of the space segment of a new hybrid system, integrating satellite-based services with a complementary ground network built by Deutsche Telekom, a strategic partner of Inmarsat.

The EAN network will commence commercial services in the second half of this year, and is expected to provide a seamless in-flight Wi-Fi service for European airlines and their passengers.

The GSAT-17 is the 21st satellite orbited by Arianespace for the ISRO after the launch of GSAT-18 in last Octoberr.

Arianespace has secured almost 90% of all Indian geostationary satellite launch contracts through competitive bidding process.

The GSAT-17 will join ISRO’s fleet of 17 telecommunications satellites that are currently operational. This satellite will offer both fixed (FSS) and mobile (MSS) satellite services, as well as handle data transmission and search-and-rescue (SAR) services.

With the latest mission, Arianespace has now conducted seven launches over a period of five months this year.

Arianespace plans five more launches this year, three of which would be by Ariane 5 and two by the Vega light launcher.

Arianespace CEO Stéphane Israël said: “Today’s [Wednesday] launch was the 80th success in a row for Ariane 5 over a period of 14 years, an exceptional performance that anchors its position as the most reliable commercial launcher in the marketplace.”


Image: GSAT-17  loaded to cargo aircraft at HAL Airport in India to be transported to Kourou, French Guiana. Photo: courtesy of ISRO.