Latest Mission updates

Ariane 5 September 21, 2018

Ariane 5: Assembled and cleared for Arianespace’s history-making 100th launch on September 25

Arianespace’s upcoming mission from the Spaceport in French Guiana – which will mark the heavy-lift Ariane 5’s 100th launch – has been cleared for liftoff next week with a dual-satellite payload.

The completed Ariane 5 launch vehicle is shown inside the Spaceport’s Final Assembly Building sporting its various customer and mission logos.

The authorization was provided following today’s Launch Readiness Review, which verified the heavy-lift Ariane 5’s “go” status, along with its Horizons 3e and Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38 passengers, the Spaceport’s infrastructure, and the network of flight-following ground stations.

Liftoff of the mission – designated Flight VA243 in Arianespace’s numbering system – is set for September 25 during a launch window that opens at 6:53 p.m. in French Guiana (21h53 UTC). Its two relay platforms are to be deployed into geostationary transfer orbit during a mission lasting 42 minutes. The payload mass is estimated to be 10,827 kg.

Dual-payload delivery

Activity at the Spaceport leading up to today’s Launch Readiness Review included completion of the launch vehicle’s integration in the Final Assembly Building for Ariane 5. During this process, Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38 was mated to Ariane 5’s core cryogenic stage, followed by installation of the ogive-shaped payload fairing containing Horizons 3e and the SYLDA dispenser system – enabling dual payloads to be carried by Arianespace’s heavy-lift launcher.

Horizons 3e – to be deployed from Ariane 5’s upper payload slot – is owned by a joint venture of Intelsat and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation. Built by Boeing using Intelsat’s EpicNG design, it will provide coverage for aeronautical and maritime mobility, fixed and wireless operators, as well as mobility and government customers. In addition, Horizons 3e is the first satellite in Intelsat’s EpicNG spacecraft series to feature entire Ku-band spot beams utilizing multiport amplifiers that optimize power across the spacecraft.

The Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38 co-passenger to be orbited by Flight VA243 from Ariane 5’s lower passenger position was produced by SSL, and is designed to provide a range of telecommunications relay duties at the service of its two operators – Intelsat and Azercosmos, a company owned by the government of Azerbaijan Republic.


Liftoff time for Flight VA243:

French Guiana UTC Washington, D.C. Baku Paris
6:53 p.m. and
7:38 p.m. on
Sept. 25
21:53 and
22:38 on
Sept. 25
5:53 p.m. and
6:38 p.m. on
Sept. 25
1:53 a.m. and
2:38 a.m. on
Sept. 26
11:53 p.m. and
12:38 a.m. on
Sept. 25/26


More details are available in the VA243 launch kit:

Ariane Flight VA243
PDF / 2 MB

Intelsat website:

SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation website:

Boeing website:

Azercosmos website:

SSL website:

Ariane 5 August 31, 2018

The Horizons 3e satellite is fueled for a history-making dual-passenger flight on Ariane 5

Read more
Tune in on close