Arianespace has successfully launched the Intelsat 33e and Intelsat 36 satellites for Intelsat, the world’s leading provider of satellite services. VA232 was the first Ariane 5 dual launch entirely dedicated to Intelsat satellites.
Arianespace’s sixth launch of 2016, the fourth using an Ariane 5, took place on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at 07:16 p.m. (local time) from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. This mission was the 73rd successful Ariane 5 launch in a row. It also reflected Ariane 5’s steadily increasing performance, as the heavy launcher set a new record by lofting 10,735 kg. into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), outpacing the previous record of 10,730 kg., set in June 2016.
Today’s launch was Arianespace’s second of the year for Intelsat. Arianespace has now launched 58 satellites for this operator, further strengthening a partnership that spans more than three decades.
Arianespace and Intelsat: partners for more than 30 years
Intelsat is the world’s leading provider of satellite services in terms of revenue and in-orbit capacity, with a fleet of approximately 50 satellites. It delivers high-performance distribution solutions for media applications and high data-rate connectivity for enterprise, fixed and mobile telecommunications and government applications.
Intelsat 33e and Intelsat 36 are the company’s 57th and 58th satellites launched by Arianespace since the orbiting of Intelsat 507 in October 1983.
Arianespace has now launched the first two satellites in the Intelsat EpicNG series:
Intelsat 29e, launched in January 2016, covers the Americas and the North Atlantic.
Intelsat 33e, the second satellite in this series, will provide broadband coverage of Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific, as well as certain media solutions.
The Intelsat 36 satellite will provide media distribution services for the south African and Indian Ocean regions.
Since being founded, Arianespace has launched half of all Intelsat satellites, including half of its current in-orbit fleet of operational satellites.
In 2017, Arianespace will launch two other Intelsat satellites: Intelsat 32e and Intelsat 37e.
A fruitful collaboration with satellite manufacturers Boeing and SSL
Arianespace and Boeing have been partners since 1987. Intelsat 33e is the 52nd Boeing satellite to be launched by Arianespace, which has four more Boeing satellites in its order book.
Arianespace and SSL have been working together since 1983. With Intelsat 36, Arianespace has now launched 56 satellites based on SSL platforms, and has nine more SSL satellites in its order book, including five to be deployed in GTO.
A strong presence in the United States
Arianespace opened an office in Washington, D.C. in 1986 and has clearly established its position as a major player in the United States.
The launch services provider now has five geostationary (GEO) satellites in its order book for U.S.-based operators, along with 12 geostationary satellites built by American manufacturers.
Arianespace also will deploy telecommunications and Earth observation constellations built in the United States.
Arianespace in the United States
Present for 30 years in the U.S., via Arianespace, Inc., the Washington, D.C.-based Arianespace subsidiary.
87 GEO and 69 non-GEO satellites launched for American operators.
177 satellites launched by Arianespace were built by American manufacturers.
Nearly half of the GEO satellites orbited for American operators have been launched by Arianespace.
Additionally, Arianespace will use an Ariane 5 in October 2018 to launch the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), developed by NASA in conjunction with the Canadian Space Agency and European Space Agency (ESA).
Shortly after the announcement of the orbital injection of the two satellites on today’s Flight VA232 with Ariane 5, Arianespace Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Israël said: “Two more! I would like to extend my warmest thanks to Intelsat for honoring us with their loyalty over the last 30-plus years, and for choosing us for today’s first-ever launch of two of their telecom satellites on the same Ariane 5. Following the successful launch of Intelsat 29e in January, we are very proud of having earned their trust. I would also like to thank our two long-standing partners, Boeing and SSL, who built the two Intelsat satellites we launched on this mission. My congratulations go to everybody who contributed to this 73rd successful launch in a row of Ariane 5: Airbus Safran Launchers and the entire European launcher industry for the reliability and availability of Ariane 5, which confirms its exceptional performance improvement with today’s launch; ESA, for its seamless support for the Ariane program; the CNES/CSG, and all companies and staff at the launch base, who continue to support us as we go from success to success; and of course the teams at Arianespace, for their commitment and professionalism, as we mark our sixth successful launch in 2016 and gear up for five more launches during the year.”
Intelsat 33e was built by Boeing using a Boeing-702MP platform.
Intelsat 33e had a liftoff mass of 6,600 kg., and offers a design life exceeding 15 years. Positioned at 60° East, it is fitted with 249 Ku-band and 20 C-band transponders.
Coverage zone: Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific.
Intelsat 36 was built by SSL using a 1300 platform.
Intelsat 36 had a liftoff mass of 3,253 kg., and offers a design life exceeding 15 years. Positioned at 68.5° East, it is fitted with 10 C-band and 34 Ku-band transponders.
Coverage zone: Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean.
The launch at a glance
To use space for a better life on earth, Arianespace guarantees access to space transportation services and solutions for any type of satellite, commercial as well as institutional, into any orbit. Since 1980, Arianespace has placed more than 500 satellites into orbit with its three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, from French Guiana in South America, and from Baikonur, Kazakhstan (central Asia). Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, France near Paris, and has a facility at the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana, plus local offices in Washington, D.C., Tokyo and Singapore.