Ariane Flight VA229

with EUTELSAT 65 West A


Launch vehicle
Ariane 5 ECA
Launch date
March 9, 2016
Eutelsat Communications
Prime contractor(s)
Launch site
Spaceport, French Guiana (Guiana Space Center)
Geostationary transfer orbit (GTO)


Arianespace’s second launch of 2016 will use an Ariane 5 rocket to orbit the EUTELSAT 65 West A satellite for the international operator Eutelsat Communications.

This is the 274th mission overall for the Arianespace family of launch vehicles and the second for the Ariane 5 heavy-lift launcher so far this year, confirming the company’s ability to meet its new 2016 target of 12 launches – with up to eight missions performed by Ariane 5.

Kourou, French Guiana
Between 2:20 - 5:20 a.m.
Washington, D.C., USA
Between 12:20 - 3:20 a.m.
Universal Time (UTC)
Between 5:20 - 8:20 a.m.
Paris, France
Between 6:20 - 9:20 a.m.


  • Orbital position

    65 deg. West

  • Design life

    More than 15 years

  • Onboard power

    16.7 kW (end of life)


EUTELSAT 65 West A will be the 31st Eutelsat satellite launched by Arianespace since the Eutelsat-1 F1 satellite was orbited in June 1983.

Eutelsat is one of the world’s leading operators of communications satellites. The company provides capacity on 40 satellites to clients that include broadcasters and broadcasting associations, pay-TV operators, video, data and Internet service providers, enterprises and government agencies.

Including EUTELSAT 65 West A, Arianespace will have carried out more than half of this major operator’s launches. Eutelsat is one of Arianespace’s largest commercial customers.

EUTELSAT 65 West A is a tri-band satellite targeting Latin American and Brazilian markets with the highest growth potential.

The satellite’s Ku-band coverage will spur the growth of DTH (Direct to Home) TV for households equipped with dish antennas to receive digital and HD (high-definition) channels. It will also boost the connectivity of business located in Central America, the Caribbean, the Andes region and in Brazil.

Its broad C-band transatlantic coverage is designed to provide contribution links and video distribution services. Furthermore, its Ka-band multibeam payload will help the operator develop Internet access services throughout Latin America, especially in Brazil.

Arianespace’s launch manifest includes three more Eutelsat satellites to be launched.

Built by SSL of Palo Alto, California using a 1300 platform, EUTELSAT 65 West A is the 53rd GEO platform built by SSL (and predecessor companies) to be orbited by Arianespace.

Arianespace has 12 more SSL satellites to be launched.

and flight

  • - 11H 30MN
    Start of final countdown
  • - 10H 30MN
    Check of electrical systems
  • - 04H 20MN
    Start of filling of main cryogenic stage with liquid oxygen and hydrogen
  • - 03H 40MN
    Start of filling of the ESC-A stage with liquid oxygen and hydrogen
  • show the countdown
  • Liftoff
  • show the countdown