An “on the numbers” Ariane 5 success for two long-time Arianespace customers: Eutelsat and Intelsat
Arianespace continued its track record of success with the company’s fourth Ariane 5 flight in 2015 and seventh launch overall this year – performing a heavy-lift mission today for Eutelsat and Intelsat, two key customers for the past 30 years.
Departing from the Spaceport in French Guiana, Arianespace’s workhorse vehicle deployed EUTELSAT 8 West B and Intelsat 34 into geostationary transfer orbit, delivering a total payload performance estimated at 9,922 kg. – which included the two satellites and Ariane 5’s dual-payload deployment system.
Arianespace Chairman and CEO Stéphane Israël recognized all of the key players in this latest operational success, including the French CNES space agency, the European Space Agency and the on-site teams at the Spaceport; along with Ariane 5 prime contractor Airbus Safran Launchers and Arianespace’s own teams. He said Arianespace remains on target to best its own record of calendar-year launches, with 12 total flights on tap for 2015.
“My thanks to European industry, which – under the leadership of Airbus Safran Launchers [ASL] – produces such a reliable launcher,” Israël stated. “Today with Ariane 5, and tomorrow with Ariane 6…Arianespace will work hand-in-hand with its no. 1 shareholder, ASL.”
Arianespace’s leadership by the numbers
The numbers associated with today’s flight – designated VA225 in Arianespace’s mission numbering system – further underscored the company’s role as the launch services industry leader. It marked the 67th consecutive success for Ariane 5 and the launcher’s 81st mission overall; while the EUTELSAT 8 West B and Intelsat 34 satellites were the 513th and 514th payloads lofted to date by Arianespace.
Today’s Flight VA225 was the 67th consecutive success for Ariane 5 and the launcher’s 81st mission overall.
EUTELSAT 8 West B was riding in the upper payload position on Ariane 5, deployed at 28 minutes into the flight. Once in service for Eutelsat, it will bring powerful new satellite broadcasting resources to the Middle East and North Africa – primarily serving direct-to-home markets from an 8 deg. West orbital slot. The 5,800-kg.-class relay spacecraft, built by Thales Alenia Space using the Spacebus platform, also is to introduce a C-band mission to this geostationary orbit position, covering the African continent and reaching to South America.
“Eutelsat 8 West B is the 30th satellite launched by Arianespace for Eutelsat,” Israël explained. “We’ve been friends and partners with Eutelsat for over 30 years, and we intend to continue! We have three satellites to launch for Eutelsat during the next two years – including the first all-electric satellite ever to be launched by Ariane 5.”
“This is an evening of great joy…and we know the reputation of Arianespace’s reliability,” commented Michel Azibert, Eutelsat Deputy CEO and Chief Commercial & Development Officer. “Our satisfaction is a result of the repeated, consistent performance that comes from the mission’s various high-quality teams – which do highly precise work.”
Israël also noted that EUTELSAT 8 West B was the 47th Spacebus-series platform carried by Arianespace from the 143 total Thales Alenia Space-built spacecraft entrusted to missions performed by the launch services company.
During today’s mission, the 3,300-kg. Intelsat 34 payload was deployed from the lower passenger position on Ariane 5, and will be utilized by Intelsat for the media distribution requirements of leading programmers for Latin America, operating from an orbital slot of 304.5 deg. East. Produced by Space Systems Loral (SSL) using its SSL 1300 platform, Intelsat 34 also is to support advanced broadband coverage for maritime and aeronautical providers serving the North Atlantic.
“Intelsat 34 is the 55th satellite launched by Arianespace for Intelsat: our cooperation also started more than 30 years ago…with the launch of Intelsat 5 F7 in October 1983 on Ariane 1, and will continue at the same pace with four more satellites already in our order book,” Arianespace’s Israël said. “Arianespace is especially proud to start deploying your next-generation EpicNG satellites next year.”
Thierry Guillemin, Intelsat’s Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, commented, “My thanks for another successful mission – it is no. 55, as Stéphane said – and it’s been a great collaboration. What we ask for is very simple: we want to be launched successfully, and on time. That’s what you do very well, and that’s why we are coming back.”
Intelsat 34 was the 51st Space Systems Loral-built (SSL) satellite launched by Arianespace to date, and the 45th based on the manufacturer’s 1300 bus – with 10 more in Arianespace’s backlog, Israël added.
Ariane 5 provided another precise delivery for the payloads on today’s mission, with the following estimated orbital parameters at injection of the launch vehicle’s cryogenic upper stage:
Perigee: 250.0 km. for a target of 250.0 km.
Apogee: 35,920 km. for a target of 35,914 km.
Inclination: 4.70 deg. for a target of 4.70 deg.
Recognizing the support of France, and keywords for the future
In his concluding remarks, Israël acknowledged the role of France in its unwavering support for Arianespace, Ariane and European space activities, while also underscoring the involvement of Emmanuel Macron, the Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs – who was present at the Spaceport for today’s mission.
Emmanuel Macron – France’s Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs – visited the Ariane 5 control center as part of his presence at the Spaceport for today’s Flight VA225 mission.
Israël said this support and involvement includes the recent changes in Arianespace’s shareholding structure, along with the recently-signed development go-ahead for Ariane 6 and Vega C launch vehicles.
“Dear Minister Emmanuel Macron: in this new context, you can be sure to count on Arianespace to continue the success,” he added. “Our watchwords will be: reliability, availability and competitiveness. We will be at the service of our customers, as we have a sole objective: succeed with the missions they confide to us. And we will be at the service of all our shareholders and the European institutions, as Arianespace is a European project.”
Following today’s mission, Arianespace is maintaining its sustained launch pace, with preparations and launch vehicle components at the Spaceport for multiple upcoming missions across its family of heavy-lift Ariane 5, medium-weight Soyuz and light-lift Vega vehicles.
The company’s next launch is set for September 10 with Soyuz on Flight VS12, which is to orbit Europe’s latest two Galileo navigation satellites. Also scheduled in September is an Ariane 5 launch with two commercial telecommunications satellites: NBN Co 1A for Australia’s National Broadband Network, and ARSAT-2 for Argentinean satellite operator ARSAT.
Arianespace’s upcoming Vega mission is planned for November with Europe’s LISA Pathfinder scientific space probe, which will observe the Universe in a completely new way.