France-based satellite operator Eutelsat Communications and Qatar-based Es’hailSat have selected Arianespace to launch their Eutelsat 25B1 / Es’hail 1 satellite in the second quarter of 2013 aboard an Ariane 5 launcher.

Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat CEO, said "This mission for 2013 is a new marker in a solid and longstanding relationship, enabling Eutelsat to pursue our objective to renew and expand the resources and quality of service we provide our customers."

Space Systems / Loral is currently constructing the satellite which will carry Ku- and Ka-band capacity and operate at 25.5° East, an orbital position serving the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia markets.

Both companies signed a contract in 2010 with Space Systems / Loral to build the satellite.

The satellite will be based on the Space Systems / Loral 1300 satellite bus modular platform and will have a design life of more than 15 years.

Weighing more than 6,000kg at launch the satellite will be launched from Arianespace’s space port in Kourou, French Guyana.

The new satellite will offer continuity in Ku-band services to Eutelsat Communications and offer Ku-band resources for Es’hailSat, while the Ka-band resources will help both companies expand their business opportunities.

A follow on from Eutelsat’s Eutelsat 25A2 satellite, Eutelsat 25B1 will provide better coverage while Es’hail 1 will provide television, Internet, corporate and government services in the Middle East and North Africa regions.

This year, Arianespace has signed with the European Commission contracts to launch 12 Galileo satellites on board of Ariane 5 launchers.

Arianespace is planning to launch six or seven satellites on the heavy lift vehicle, Ariane 5 and five others on the medium-sized Soyuz launcher.

Last month the company launched its first satellite through the new rocket Vega, demonstrating lightweight launcher’s capacity to lift a 1.5t satellite into low-Earth orbit.


Image: The EUTELSAT 25B1 / Es’hail 1 satellite will be launched from Arianespace’s space port in Kourou, French Guyana. Photo: Arianespace