Ariane Flight VA241

with SES-14 and Al Yah 3


SES-14, Al Yah 3
Launch vehicle
Ariane 5 ECA
SES, Yahsat
Orbital injection anomaly
Prime contractor(s)
Airbus Defence and Space, Orbital ATK
Launch site
Spaceport, French Guiana (Guiana Space Center)
Geostationary transfer orbit (GTO)


For its first launch of 2018, Arianespace will use an Ariane 5 from the Guiana Space Center (CSG) in French Guiana to launch the SES-14 and Al Yah 3 satellites for operators SES and Yahsat (Al Yah Satellite Communications Company).

With this 295th mission of its launcher family – the 241st utilizing an Ariane launcher – Arianespace serves the ambitions of leading satellite operators, both globally and regionally.

Between 5:20 p.m. and 6:05 p.m. (Jan. 25)
Washington, D.C.
Between 7:20 p.m. and 8:05 p.m. (Jan. 25)
Kourou, French Guiana
Between 22:20 and 23:05 (Jan. 25)
Universal Time (UTC)
Between 11:20 p.m. and 00:05 a.m. (Jan. 25/26)
Paris, France



SES-14 will be the 53rd satellite launched by Arianespace for the operator SES (Société Européenne de Satellites), reaching back to Spacenet 1, orbited in May 1984.

SES, a leading global satellite operator, is the first company to operate a scalable GEO-MEO fleet with over 50 satellites in geostationary orbit (GEO) and 12 in medium Earth orbit (MEO). SES provides satellite communications services to broadcasters, content and Internet service providers, operators of fixed and mobile networks, governments and institutions and businesses from around the world.

The SES fleet also includes the ASTRA and O3b satellite systems.

SES-14 is one of the company’s three hybrid satellites, combining wide beams and high throughput (HTS) spot beams. Its hybrid payload offers both C- and Ku-band wide beams, plus Ku- and Ka-band HTS capacity.

Positioned at 47.5° West, SES-14 will fulfill two primary missions: its C-band wide beams are specifically designed for SES’s expanding cable neighborhood in Latin America, while its Ku-band HTS spot beams will provide expansion capacity to serve the dynamic aeronautical and maritime markets and other traffic-intensive applications, such as cellular backhaul or broadband delivery services.

The Ku-band wide beams on SES-14 will augment SES’s ability to serve direct-to-home customers and provide connectivity in the Americas and the North Atlantic. The satellite will provide replacement and expansion capacity for NSS-806.

SES-14 will feature a digital transparent processor (DTP) that will provide more flexibility to route the spot beams and also offer customized connectivity solutions that best fit customers’ needs.

The satellite is equipped with an electric propulsion system for orbital maneuvers and orbit raising duties.

SES-14 also carries the Global-Scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD), a hosted payload for NASA, whose goal is to improve the understanding of the thermosphere-ionosphere. GOLD will transmit data from a geostationary orbit at a fast pace, to build up a full-disk view every half hour, providing detailed large-scale measurements of the response of the upper atmosphere to forcing from the Sun, the magnetosphere, and the lower atmosphere.

Arianespace currently has nine more SES satellites in its order book: SES-17, four O3b 13 – 16 satellites and four O3b 17-20 satellites.

SES-14 was built by Airbus Defence and Space in its plant in Toulouse, France, using the E3000 EOR platform. It is the 119th satellite from this manufacturer to be launched by Arianespace, and also is the second based on the Eurostar E3000 EOR platform.

Twenty other Airbus-built satellites are in Arianespace’s order book. Furthermore, Airbus is a partner in the construction of the 650 satellites in the OneWeb constellation, to be deployed by Arianespace.

Al Yah 3

Al Yah 3 will be the second satellite launched by Arianespace for the United Arab Emirates operator Yahsat  (Al Yah Satellite Communications Company), following Al Yah 1, launched in 2011.

Yahsat is a leading global satellite operator, providing multipurpose satellite solutions (broadband, broadcast, government and communication use) across the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Central and Southwest Asia. Headquartered in the United Arab Emirates at Abu Dhabi, it is wholly-owned by the Mubadala Investment Company, the Abu Dhabi government’s investment vehicle.

Yahsat is the first company in the Middle East and Africa to offer Ka-band services – including YahClick, Yahsat Government Solutions, YahLink and Yahlive – via its Al Yah 1 and Al Yah 2 satellites.

With the launch of Al Yah 3, Yahsat’s commercial Ka-band coverage will be extended to an additional 20 markets, reaching 60% of Africa’s population and over 95% of Brazil’s population.

Al Yah 3 will be positioned at 20° West Longitude.

The Al Yah 3 satellite carries 53 active Ka-band user beams and four gateway beams, and produces approximately 8.0 kilowatts of payload electrical power. The Ka-band spot beams provide two-way communications services to facilitate high-speed delivery of data to end-user applications such as broadband Internet and corporate networking as well as IP backhaul for telecommunications service providers.

Al Yah 3 is designed to ensure high throughput and high availability for all target segments – including consumers – with small, cost-efficient terminals.

Al Yah 3 was built by Orbital ATK using its new GEOStar-3 hybrid platform, the first application of this platform.

It is the 27th Orbital ATK satellite to be launched by Arianespace, a series that started with the TOPEX-Poseidon mission in 1992.

Arianespace’s order book includes three other Orbital ATK satellites.

and flight

  • Start of final countdown
  • Check of electrical systems
  • Start of filling of EPC with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen
  • Start of filling of ESC-A with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen
  • show the countdown
  • Liftoff
  • show the countdown
  • SES-14 satellite separation
  • SYLDA separation
  • Al Yah 3 satellite separation
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