Confirmed: EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1 and GSAT-7 are on their way to final orbits following Arianespace’s accurate Ariane 5 launch
The two passengers carried on Arianespace’s August 29 success with Ariane 5 – EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1 and GSAT-7 – were placed into a highly accurate geostationary transfer orbit by the heavy-lift launcher, preparing these spacecraft for their useful operational lifetimes.
Ariane 5’s accuracy once again was underscored during the mission, which is designated Flight VA215 in Arianespace’s numbering system. Estimated orbital parameters at the injection of its cryogenic upper stage were:
– Perigee: 249.3 km. for a target of 249.3 km.
– Apogee: 35,942 km. for a target of 35,924 km.
– Inclination: 3.48 deg. for a target of 3.50 deg.
Further confirmation of the on-target deliveries by Ariane 5 came from Arianespace’s customers. India’s national Indian Space Research Organisation space agency, which developed GSAT-7, today announced that Ariane 5 precisely placed the communications satellite into its intended geostationary transfer orbit.
In addition, ISRO stated that GSAT-7’s solar panels have been successfully deployed and are generating power, and that initial checks indicated normal health. During the next steps, GSAT-7’s liquid apogee motor will raise the satellite to geostationary orbit by September 4 with three orbit raising maneuvers.
GSAT-7 ultimately will be positioned at an orbital slot of 74 deg. East, from which it will provide India with UHF, S-band, C-band and Ku-band relay capacity over the country’s land mass.
In another statement issued today, Eutelsat Communications and Es’hailSat confirmed their jointly-owned EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1 high-power relay platform also was on course for geostationary orbit.
The spacecraft’s solar panels were deployed within four hours of separation with Ariane 5, and preparations rapidly commenced for the first of four apogee motor firings to raise EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1 to its intended orbital position – 25.5 deg. East – for a planned service entry at the end of October.
Once in its final orbital slot, EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1 – which was built by Space Systems/Loral (SSL) – will deliver Ku-band television broadcasting, telecommunications and government services for the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia; while the satellite’s Ka-band capability will open business opportunities in these regions for both of its operators.
Yesterday’s launch marked the 57th consecutive success for Arianespace’s Ariane 5, as well as the workhorse vehicle’s fourth flight conducted so far during 2013 – delivering seven spacecraft with a combined total payload lift performance of more than 50,000 kg.
The mission’s launcher was the 14th Ariane 5 ECA version delivered to Arianespace as part of the PB production batch from Astrium Space Transportation – the industrial prime contractor and integrator. The PB production contract was signed in 2009 to ensure the continuity of Arianespace’s launch services and consists of 35 Ariane 5 ECA launchers – covering the timeframe from 2010 to 2016. It follows the PA production batch, which involved 30 Ariane 5s.