Mission accomplished! Arianespace launches Thor 7 and Sicral 2 satellites
Ariane 5 orbits a civil and military satellite on its first launch of the year
Arianespace has successfully launched two telecommunications satellites: Thor 7 for the private Norwegian operator Telenor Satellite Broadcasting (TSBc), and Sicral 2 for the operator Telespazio, on behalf of the Italian Ministry of Defense and the French defense procurement agency DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement, part of the Ministry of Defense).
Today’s launch, the third of the year for Arianespace and the 64th successful launch in a row by Ariane 5, took place at 5:00 pm local time from the Guiana Space Center (CSG) in Kourou, French Guiana.
The first launch in 2015 of the Ariane 5 heavy launcher, this mission clearly illustrates Arianespace’s dual objective: establish itself as the global leader in commercial launch services, while also guaranteeing reliable and independent access to space for European governments.
A dual mission: civil and military satellites
Thor-7 will provide TV broadcasting services for central and eastern Europe, along with broadband communications for the maritime industry, and spotbeams for the North Sea, Norwegian Sea, Red Sea, Baltic Sea, Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean.
2nd satellite launched by Arianespace for TSBc
49th satellite built by Space Systems/Loral (or its predecessors) to be launched by Arianespace
63rd military satellite launched by Arianespace (and the second in a joint Italian-French military program, after Athena Fidus, launched in February 2014)
141st satellite built by Thales Alenia Space (or its predecessors) to be launched by Arianespace
Sicral 2 will provide strategic and tactical communications links for the French and Italian armed forces, as well as additional telecom capacity for NATO countries. That makes Sicral 2 a fundamental element in a common European security policy, which must count on a spaceborne component.
Arianespace, a complete family supporting all space applications
With this third successful launch since the beginning of the year, Arianespace is on schedule to equal its operational record set last year, of 11 launches from the Guiana Space Center. The complete family of launchers offered by Arianespace confirms its ability, unrivaled worldwide, to provide launch services for all space applications. For example, today’s Ariane 5 launch of the Thor 7 and Sicral 2 civil and military telecom satellites, respectively, follows the launch by Vega on February 11 of the IXV atmospheric reentry demonstrator, and the launch by Soyuz on March 27 of Galileo navigation satellites.
Shortly after the announcement that the satellites had been injected into orbit, Arianespace Chairman and CEO Stéphane Israël said: “Arianespace is very proud of having successfully carried out this dual mission today: launching the Thor 7 satellite for the private operator Telenor Satellite Broadcasting, to bolster its position in maritime and offshore communications, and also launching the Sicral 2 satellite for French and Italian armed forces, who will use it to increase their secure communications capacity with theaters of operation.
“I would like to express my thanks to our customers Telenor and Telespazio, as well as the French and Italian defense ministries, for once again placing their trust in us. I would also like to thank all our partners in this third launch of the year: the European Space Agency, contract authority for the Ariane program; the joint venture Airbus Safran Launchers and the entire European launcher industry, for the exceptional reliability shown by Ariane 5 ECA, which recorded its 64th successful mission in a row today; CNES-CSG and the companies operating at the spaceport, who continue to work with us to ensure new success; and of course all Arianespace teams, for their engagement and their professionalism.”