Lifting off on its 80th flight, Ariane 5 continued its track record of success this week with a “picture-perfect” mission to deploy Embratel Star One’s Star One C4 telecommunications relay platform and the MSG-4 meteorological monitoring satellite for Eumetsat. This series of photos recaps the opening moments Flight VA224 -- another mission accomplished for Arianespace’s heavy-lift workhorse.
Right on-time: Carrying a mixed-mission payload, Ariane 5 began its ascent from the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch complex at 6:42 p.m. local time in French Guiana on July 15, 2015 – the beginning of its scheduled launch window – with a lift performance of nearly 8,590 kg.
Successful partnerships continue: Ariane 5 carried satellites for two long-time customers on Flight VA224 – Brazilian telecommunications satellite operator Embratel Star One and Europe’s Eumetsat climate, weather and environmental monitoring organizations. Delivering these diverse payloads once again underscored the company’s position as a leading commercial launch services provider, while also fulfilling its mission to guarantee Europe’s independent access to space.
On the move: As the sixth total mission across Arianespace’s complete family of Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega vehicles this year, Flight VA224 kept the company on pace to meet its busy launch manifest for 2015. Arianespace also has carried out two other Ariane 5 launches, two flights with its lightweight Vega, and one medium-lift Soyuz mission – all successes – so far this year.
Lighting up the skies: Arianespace’s heavy-lift workhorse ascended over the Spaceport to begin its on-target 40-minute mission with Star One C4 and MSG-4. Once again highlighting the vehicle’s reliability in service of Arianespace’s customers, Flight VA224 was Ariane 5’s 80th launch overall, and its 66th successful mission in a row.