Flight VA239: Arianespace orbits Intelsat 37e and BSAT-4a on 81st successful Ariane 5 launch in a row
Arianespace has successfully launched the Intelsat 37e communications satellite for the operator Intelsat, along with the BSAT-4a digital TV broadcast satellite for manufacturer SSL (Space Systems Loral) as part of a turnkey contract with Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT) of Japan.
The launch took place on Friday, September 29 at 6:56 p.m. (local time in Kourou) from the Guiana Space Center (CSG), Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana (South America).
With this ninth launch of the year, and the fifth by Ariane 5, Arianespace also logged the 81st successful launch in a row by the Ariane 5 heavy launcher.
Boosting innovative space communications
Intelsat 37e is the 59th Intelsat satellite to be launched by Arianespace since Intelsat 507 was orbited in October 1983. The Arianespace order book includes two more satellites from this operator (Intelsat 39 and Horizon-3e).
With its state-of-the-art digital payload, Intelsat 37e offers the highest throughput in the Intelsat EpicNG fleet. It features an improved power-sharing technology that allows it to assign onboard power between shaped, fixed and steerable Ku-band spot beams.
The satellite’s services can be optimized on demand, depending on application requirements and by region, thus boosting its ability to provide ever more effective transmissions for mobile and government customers in the Americas, Africa and Europe.
Arianespace and Boeing
Intelsat 37e is the 55th Boeing-built satellite to be launched by Arianespace since 1987.
The Arianespace order book includes two more Boeing satellites: Horizon-3e and ViaSat 3F1.
Intelsat 37e is the fifth high-throughput satellite in the Intelsat EpicNG series, and the fourth of this series to be launched by Arianespace, reflecting Intelsat’s exceptional trust in the launch services offered by Arianespace.
The BSAT-4a satellite was launched for SSL within the scope of a turnkey contract with the Japanese operator Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT).
BSAT-4a is the ninth B-SAT satellite launched by Arianespace. It will offer direct-to-home (DTH) digital broadcast services across Japan. Its 24 Ku-band transponders will support the expansion of the most advanced DTH services, including high-definition and very-high-definition (4K/8K).
Arianespace and SSL
BSAT-4a is the 64th satellite with an SSL platform to be launched by Arianespace since 1983.
The Arianespace order book includes three more SSL satellites: Azerspace2/Intelsat-38, Eutelsat 7C, and Intelsat 39.
Arianespace has launched all B-SAT satellites since the Japanese operator’s creation. Reflecting its unmatched position in this market, BSAT-4a is the 29th geostationary satellite launched by Arianespace for a Japanese operator.
Arianespace’s heavy launcher: combining reliability and performance
With today’s mission, the 81st successful launch in a row for Ariane 5, Arianespace’s heavy launcher has once again proven its unrivaled reliability and performance. It also nearly equaled the launcher’s payload record of 9,969 kg, set by flight VA237 in June 2017, by lofting a net payload weight of 9,958 kg.
Arianespace has carried out nine launches from the Guiana Space Center to date in 2017 (five by Ariane 5, two by Soyuz and two by Vega). Since the beginning of the year, the company has launched 15 payloads – including 12 into geostationary transfer orbit – totaling 55,440 kg.
Shortly after the announcement of the orbital injection of the two satellites, Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace, said: “Arianespace is proud to share this fifth successful Ariane 5 launch of the year, its 81st in a row, with our American and Japanese customers. We are very happy with the continuing expression of trust from Intelsat. Just slightly over a year after the dual launch of IS-33e and IS-36, and seven months after the launch of Intelsat-32e/SKY Brasil-1, we have now orbited Intelsat-37e, the most powerful satellite in its Intelsat EpicNG fleet. Congratulations to Boeing, our long-standing partner, which built Intelsat 37e, and with whom we have carried out the third mission of the year from CSG. Our thanks also go to SSL, manufacturer of BSAT-4a, with whom we have a very long and valued relationship, having now launched a total of 64 satellites based on SSL platforms, as well as B-SAT, which has entrusted us with the launch of its entire fleet of satellites, a special honor for us.
“I would like to congratulate all our partners on this 95th Ariane 5 launch: everyone at our parent company, ArianeGroup, along with their partners from industry who work on Ariane launchers; ESA, for its active support of the Ariane program; CNES/CSG, our ground segment companies, and all staff at the space center, who work alongside us as we go from success to success. And of course, I would like to congratulate everyone at Arianespace for the success of our ninth launch of the year.”
Intelsat 37e, a next generation fixed and mobile communications satellite, will operate in C, Ku and Ka bands, providing high-quality, high-speed connections. Built by Boeing using a 702MP platform, the satellite will operate from geostationary orbit at 342° East. Its coverage zone includes the Americas, Europe and Africa. It weighed 6,438 kg at launch and offers a design life of 15 years.
The BSAT-4a satellite is dedicated to digital broadcasting, based on an innovative payload for high-definition and ultra-high-definition (4K/8K) TV broadcasts. Built by SSL using the 1300 platform, it will operate from geostationary orbit at 110° East, and will cover Japan. It weighed 3,520 kg at launch and offers a design life of 15 years.
Arianespace uses space to make life better on Earth by providing launch services for all types of satellites into all orbits. It has orbited more than 550 satellites since 1980, using its family of three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, from launch sites in French Guiana (South America) and Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, near Paris, and has a technical facility at the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, plus local offices in Washington, D.C., Tokyo and Singapore. Arianespace is a subsidiary of ArianeGroup, which holds 74% of its share capital, with the balance held by 17 other shareholders from the European launcher industry.