Arianespace launch a success: Ariane 5 ECA orbits EchoStar XVII and MSG-3
On Thursday, July 5, Arianespace successfully launched two satellites: the dedicated Internet satellite EchoStar XVII for the American operator Hughes Network Systems, and the MSG-3 weather satellite for Eumetsat, the European Meteorological Satellite organization.
63rd Ariane 5 launch, 49th success in a row
Today’s successful Ariane 5 launch once again proves the launcher’s operational capabilities. Ariane 5 handles a complete range of missions, from commercial launches into geostationary orbit to launches into special orbits. This was the 63rd launch of an Ariane 5, and the 49th successful launch in a row. Arianespace’s latest successful mission, the third Ariane 5 launch in 2012, clearly shows that its launch Service & Solutions continue to set the global standard and guarantee independent access to space for all customers, including national and international space agencies, private operators and governments.
302nd and 303rd satellites launched by Arianespace from French Guiana
Arianespace offers the launch services that best match the demanding requirements of leading operators worldwide. EchoStar XVII is the second satellite launched by Arianespace for the American operator Hughes, a subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation. A high-power Ka-band satellite, EchoStar XVII will offer broadband Internet services to companies and individuals in North America. EchoStar XVII is the 37th satellite built by Space Systems/Loral to be launched by Arianespace. MSG-3 (Meteosat Second Generation) is part of a European family of four geostationary meteorological detection and observation satellites. It is the ninth satellite to be launched by Arianespace for Eumetsat. The first two MSG satellites were launched by Arianespace in 2002 and 2005.
EchoStar XVII/MSG-3 mission at a glance
The mission was carried out by an Ariane 5 ECA launcher from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Liftoff was on Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 6:36 pm local time in Kourou (5:36 pm in Washington, D.C., 21:36 UT, 11:36 pm in Paris, and on Friday, July 6 at 6:36 am in Tokyo). Weighing 6,100 kg at launch, EchoStar XVII was injected into geostationary transfer orbit, and will then be moved to its orbital position at 107.1 degrees West. Built by Space Systems/Loral using a 1300 platform, EchoStar XVII is a broadband Ka-band satellite. It will round out the HughesNet® services offering in North America, bolstering the orbital capacity offered by the Spaceway® 3 satellite. The payload on this new satellite offers a retransmission capacity exceeding 100 Gbps.
Built by Thales Alenia Space as prime contractor, MSG-3 weighed 2,000 kg at liftoff. It has 12 separate channels, three in visible wavelengths and nine in infrared bands, and is capable of transmitting images every 15 minutes. MSG-3 will ensure service continuity for EUMETSAT, providing meteorologists with a powerful tool for the detection and prediction of weather-related events in Europe and surrounding regions. EUMETSAT is an intergovernmental organization, grouping 26 Member States and five Cooperating States.