Ariane Flight VA249

Intelsat 39 and EDRS-C


Launch date
August 6, 2019
Intelsat 39, EDRS-C
Launch vehicle
Ariane 5 ECA
Launch site
Spaceport, French Guiana (Guiana Space Center)
Intelsat, Airbus, European Space Agency (ESA)
Prime contractor(s)
Maxar Technologies, OHB System AG
Geostationary orbit


For its third flight with Ariane 5 this year, Arianespace will orbit two telecommunications satellites for long-term customers: Intelsat 39, for the operator Intelsat; and the EDRS-C satellite, based on a public–private partnership between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus.

Through this mission, Arianespace highlights its ability to be at the service of innovative satellite solutions for commercial and institutional needs.

3:30 p.m. to 5:51 p.m.
Washington, D.C.
4:30 p.m. to 6:51 p.m.
19:30 to 21:51
Universal Time (UTC)
9:30 p.m. to 11:51 p.m.


Intelsat 39

Intelsat 39 will be the 61st satellite launched by Arianespace for Intelsat since the first mission at its service in 1983. It will replace Intelsat 902 (launched by Arianespace in 2001) at 62 degrees East.

The Intelsat 39 telecommunication satellite is designed with both wide and high-powered steerable spot beams to meet the needs of broadband networking, video and government customers across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Indian Ocean region. The steerable spot beams provide flexibility within the payload and enable customers to rapidly and efficiently respond to shifts in geographic or application requirements. The satellite features C-and Ku-band capabilities to provide additional scale for Intelsat’s Flex managed service and enhance mobile connectivity for aero, maritime and government users operating across these regions.

Intelsat 39 is a powerful platform that will enable mobile network operators, enterprises and internet service providers to deliver faster and more efficient connectivity services. It will also provide government entities with the ability to expand connectivity to more remote areas and continue to narrow the digital divide. Intelsat 39 is based on the powerful 1300 platform, which has the flexibility to support a broad range of applications and technology advances, including electric propulsion.

Intelsat 39 was built by Maxar in Palo Alto, California. Maxar is a leading provider of innovative spacecraft systems with deep experience in building and integrating some of the world’s most powerful and comprehensive spacecraft.

Intelsat 39 will be the 57th satellite based on a Maxar 1300 platform launched by Arianespace.


The EDRS-C satellite is the second node of the SpaceDataHighway network. The SpaceDataHighway is the world’s first “optical fiber” network in the sky based on cutting-edge laser technology. It is a unique network of geostationary satellites permanently fixed over a network of ground stations that can transmit data at a rate of 1.8 Gbit/s It will help to improve environmental and security monitoring, disaster response and crisis management.

As a result, Arianespace once again ensures its leading mission to offer an independent access to space for European flagship programs.

The SpaceDataHighway system will relay larger volumes of image data in a secure way. From its position in geostationary orbit, the SpaceDataHighway system relays data collected by observation satellites to Earth in near-real-time, a process that would normally take several hours. It thus enables the quantity of image and video data transmitted by observation satellites to be tripled and their mission plan to be reprogrammed at any time and in just a few minutes.

Launched into a geostationary orbit at 31° East, EDRS-C will be able to connect low-orbiting observation satellites via laser at a distance up to 45,000 km., as well as intelligence UAVs or mission aircraft. The SpaceDataHighway is a public–private partnership between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus, with the laser terminals developed by Tesat-Spacecom and Germany’s DLR Aerospace Center. Airbus owns, operates and provides services for the SpaceDataHighway. The EDRS-C satellite platform is supplied by OHB System AG.

In addition, a hosted payload – HYLAS 3 – was provided by Avanti Communications under a contract with ESA as a customer-furnished item to OHB.

EDRS-C/HYLAS 3 will be: the 132th satellite launched for Airbus by Arianespace, the 26th satellite based on an OHB platform; and the 4th Avanti payload to be launched by Arianespace.

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