Eutelsat’s W3B is on a fast track for launch by Ariane 5
February 25, 2010
Arianespace’s ability to accommodate its customers’ launch timing requirements is being demonstrated once again with the scheduling of Eutelsat’s W3B telecommunications satellite for an Ariane 5 launch this August/September.
The newly-signed contract for this payload extends a highly successful 25-year cooperation with Eutelsat – as more than half of the telecommunications operator’s satellite fleet has been orbited by Ariane launchers, and W3B will be the 25th satellite lofted by Arianespace.
“One of Arianespace’s priorities is meeting the critical mission timing needs of our customers, and we appreciate Eutelsat’s confidence in entrusting us with its latest satellite for a fast-track launch,” said Arianespace Chairman & CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall. “Eutelsat is one of the world’s largest telecommunications satellite operators, and its latest agreement to launch W3B with us confirms the capabilities of Arianespace’s Service & Solutions offer in the global launch services marketplace.”
The W3B satellite is being built by Thales Alenia Space, and is based on the manufacturer’s Spacebus 4000 platform. With a liftoff mass of 5,400 kg., it will offer significant flexibility in providing a wide range of services, notably TV broadcasting to professional data networks.
Arianespace’s mission with W3B will be part of a busy 2010 launch schedule, which targets a total of seven Ariane 5 missions, along with the initial medium-lift Soyuz launches from the Spaceport in French Guiana and the anticipated first flight of the lightweight Vega.