Arianespace launch a success: Ariane 5 ECA orbits INTELSAT 20 and HYLAS 2 satellites
On Thursday, August 2, 2012, Arianespace successfully launched two communications satellites: INTELSAT 20 for the international satellite operator Intelsat, and HYLAS 2 for the European operator Avanti.
50th successful launch in a row
Today’s successful mission, the 50th in a row for the European launcher, once again proves the reliability and availability of the Ariane 5 launch system. It also confirms that Arianespace continues to set the global standard, guaranteeing independent access to space for all customers, including national and international space agencies, private operators and governments. Arianespace’s latest successful mission, the fourth Ariane 5 launch in 2012, also further confirms the system’s operational capabilities. Ariane 5 is the only commercial satellite launcher now on the market capable of simultaneously launching two payloads and handling a complete range of missions, from launches of commercial satellites into geostationary orbit, to dedicated launches into special orbits.
The 64th Ariane 5 launch set a new record for payload mass injected into geostationary transfer order. It carried a total payload of 10,182 kg, including 9,405 kg for the two satellites INTELSAT 20 and HYLAS 2, which were released into their targeted orbits.
Arianespace offers the launch services that best match the demanding requirements of leading operators worldwide. INTELSAT 20 will join the large fleet of satellites already deployed by this major international operator. Arianespace has worked with Intelsat in a relationship of mutual trust for nearly 30 years, launching some 53 satellites in all, including 40 over the last 20 years. HYLAS 2 is the second satellite to be launched for the new European operator Avanti, which also called on Arianespace to launch its first satellite, HYLAS 1, in November 2010.
INTELSAT 20/HYLAS 2 mission at a glance
The mission was carried out by an Ariane 5 ECA launcher from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Liftoff was on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 5:54 pm local time in Kourou (4:54 pm in Washington, D.C., 20:54 UT, 10:54 pm in Paris, and on Friday, August 3 at 5:54 am in Tokyo). INTELSAT 20 will provide a broad range of video, telephone and data transmission services for Europe, the Middle East, Russia and Asia. A very powerful satellite built by Space Systems/Loral of the United States using its 1300 platform, INTELSAT 20 weighed 6,094 kg at launch. It will enable Intelsat to extend its global C and Ku-band coverage. INTELSAT 20 has a design life exceeding 18 years. HYLAS 2, equipped with 24 Ka-band transponders, will provide high-speed broadband services across all of Europe, eastern Africa, South Africa and the Middle East. It was built by Orbital Sciences Corporation using a Star-2 platform and weighed 3,311 kg at launch. HYLAS 2 has a design life exceeding 15 years.