Ariane 5’s historic mission with Intelsat New Dawn receives a symbolic “boost”
The Ariane 5 that orbited Africa’s first-ever private sector communications satellite today carried a very special symbol as the launcher performed its milestone mission with the Intelsat New Dawn spacecraft.
A decal on the Ariane 5’s payload fairing includes Nelson Mandela’s signature, along with logos of the Intelsat New Dawn satellite team. His signature appears below an image of the African continent with the wording: “a solution for Africa, by Africa,” under which is the Zulu-language phrase: “Go Well, New Dawn.”
On the heavy-lift launch vehicle’s payload fairing was the signature of South Africa’s Nelson Mandela, which was placed on a commemorative decal also bearing the Zulu-language phrase: “Hamba Kahle New Dawn” – which translates in English to: “Go Well, New Dawn.”
Produced for a joint venture consortium led by Convergence Partners and Intelsat, the Intelsat New Dawn telecommunications relay platform was created as “a solution for Africa, by Africa.” The project was funded through a combination of equity from Intelsat and the Convergence Partners Consortium, and debt funding via an innovative structure that maximized African participation for Intelsat New Dawn.
Once at its operational geostationary orbital position, this Orbital Sciences Corporation-built spacecraft will supply critical communications infrastructure for African customers as part of Intelsat’s global fleet – delivering wireless backhaul, broadband and media content.
Joining Intelsat New Dawn on today’s heavy-lift mission was Yahsat Y1A, which will be utilized by the Al Yah Satellite Communications Company to provide customized relay services for the government and commercial sectors in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Southwest Asia.