Arianespace to launch all-electric Eutelsat 172B satellite in 2017
European space telecommunications operator Eutelsat has chosen Arianespace to launch its 172B satellite. EUTELSAT 172B will be equipped with a multibeam payload covering the Asia-Pacific region, designed specially to support in-flight connectivity services aboard airliners.
The Eutelsat 172B satellite will be launched by an Ariane 5 in 2017 from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.
This will be the 28th satellite lofted into orbit by Arianespace for Eutelsat.
EUTELSAT 172B will carry three separate payloads: a C-band payload, a Ku-band payload to cover five high-performance zones (North Pacific, Northeast Asia, Southeast Pacific and South Pacific) and an innovative multibeam Ku-band payload designed specifically to support broadband in-flight services. This new payload will be the first in the Asia-Pacific region designed specially to deliver connectivity onboard aircraft.
The all-electric propulsion Eutelsat 172B satellite will have a mass at liftoff of roughly 3.5 tons. It will be built by Airbus Defence and Space and released into an orbit at 172° East.
“Eutelsat chose Arianespace because we were able to meet all the needs of our customer, especially a firm launch schedule. We are extremely proud to have won this new contract from Eutelsat, confirming the confidence that this major operator has shown in Arianespace over the past 30 years. This choice once again underlines the competitiveness of our offer for launching satellites in the 3.5-ton class, as well as the fact that the Ariane 5 launcher is perfectly adapted for lifting all-electric satellites into orbit. This project is part of the “New Industrial France” program to develop all-electric satellites. I want to thank the Minister of the Economy, Industrial Recovery and Digital Economy, the State Secretary for Higher Education and Research, as well as the CNES space agency and the French General Commission for Investment (CGI) for their support for this exciting initiative. France’s space community has clearly demonstrated its unity and ability to innovate as a team,” said Stéphane Israël, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace.