Arianespace launches two telecommunication satellites onboard Ariane 5 ECA rocket


Arianespace has launched the two ViaSat-2 and Eutelsat 172B telecommunication satellites from Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.

During the mission, an Ariane 5 ECA rocket delivered the satellites into their geostationary transfer orbits.

The latest mission has also represented the increased payload lift capability of the Ariane 5 ECA rocket, which carried a total payload of 10,865kg, of which 9,969kg was the net lift-off mass for the two satellites.

Other rocket mass included integration hardware for the Ariane 5’s dual-payload deployment system.

“For the third time this year and the 79th time in a row, Ariane 5 performed flawlessly.”

The first satellite released during the recent flight was the Boeing-built ViaSat-2, which will be operated from an orbital position of 70° West by US-based technology company ViaSat.

Designed to improve broadband connectivity, the satellite will serve the Caribbean, northern South America, and North and Central America, as well as aeronautical and maritime routes in the Atlantic Ocean.

Manufactured by Airbus, the Eutelsat 172B satellite will be operated by French satellite operator Eutelsat and placed at an orbital position of 172° East to serve the Asia-Pacific region.

Arianespace CEO Stéphane Israël said: “With this new mission, Arianespace once again demonstrates the availability and versatility of its launch vehicle family for customers.

“For the third time this year and the 79th time in a row, Ariane 5 performed flawlessly.”

The company is also planning to further increase its Ariane 5 ECA’s payload lift capability by 2019.


Image: Ariane 5 ascends from Spaceport in French Guiana, carrying two satellites. Photo: courtesy of Arianespace.