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Ariane 5 August 6, 2019

Arianespace successfully orbits two communications satellites: INTELSAT 39 for INTELSAT; and EDRS-C for Airbus

Arianespace has successfully orbited two geostationary telecommunications satellites: Intelsat 39 for the international operator Intelsat, and EDRS-C for Airbus, as part of a public-private partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA).

The launch took place on August 6, 2019 at 4:30 p.m. (local time) from the Guiana Space Center (CSG), Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana (South America).

With this third successful Ariane 5 mission in 2019, Arianespace continues to prove its ability to meet the requirements of today’s most innovative players in both the commercial and institutional markets.

After the mission’s completion, Arianespace Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Israël said: “With this launch for two of our long-standing customers, Intelsat and Airbus – as well as in the framework of a partnership with ESA and Avanti – we proudly continue to show our ability to deploy ever more innovative satellites for commercial and institutional requirements.”

Arianespace orbits Intelsat 39 for Intelsat, a partner since 1983

Intelsat 39 is the 61st satellite launched by Arianespace for Intelsat, starting with its first mission for this operator in 1983. It will replace the Intelsat 902 spacecraft, launched by Arianespace in 2001.

The Intelsat 39 telecommunications satellite offers high-power, steerable, wide spotbeams to meet the needs of broadband network, video and government customers across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Indian Ocean region. Steerable spotbeams ensure payload flexibility, enabling customers to quickly and efficiently respond to changing geographic or application requirements.

The satellite features both C- and Ku-band capabilities to provide additional scale for Intelsat’s Flex managed services and enhance mobile flexibility for aeronautical, maritime and government users in these regions.

Intelsat 39 was built by Maxar in Palo Alto, California. It is the 57th satellite launched by Arianespace using a Maxar platform.

Arianespace: a catalyst for innovative satellite solutions serving Europe

The EDRS-C satellite is the second node in the SpaceDataHighway network. Based on state-of-the-art laser technology, EDRS, the SpaceDataHighway is the first fiber-optic network in space. Supported by a public-private partnership between Airbus and ESA, it will help improve environmental monitoring and security services, disaster response and crisis management. The European commission will be a key customer of the EDRS system at the benefit of the Copernicus program. Once again, Arianespace has fulfilled its primary mission of offering independent access to space for Europe’s flagship programs.

The SpaceDataHighway is the most sophisticated laser communications network ever designed. From a position in geostationary orbit, it relays data collected by observation satellites to Earth in near real time, thus tripling the volume of data, images and videos transmitted by these satellites and also being capable of reprogramming their mission plan at any given moment in just a few minutes.

The laser terminals were designed by Tesat-Spacecom and Germany’s DLR aerospace research center. Airbus owns, operates and services the SpaceDataHighway. The EDRS-C satellite platform is supplied by OHB System AG, while the HYLAS 3 hosted payload was provided by the operator Avanti Communications under a contract with ESA.

EDRS-C is the 132nd satellite launched by Arianespace for Airbus, as well as the 26th satellite using an OHB platform and the fourth Avanti payload to be launched by Arianespace.

For more information on Intelsat 39 and EDRS-C, see the VA249 press kit at

About Arianespace 

Arianespace uses space to make life better on Earth by providing launch services for all types of satellites into all orbits. It has orbited more than 600 satellites since 1980, using its family of three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, from launch sites in French Guiana (South America) and Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, near Paris, and has a technical facility at the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, plus local offices in Washington, D.C., Tokyo and Singapore. Arianespace is a subsidiary of ArianeGroup, which holds 74% of its share capital, with the balance held by 15 other shareholders from the European launcher industry.

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Ariane 5 July 29, 2019

Flight VA249: Arianespace will orbit Intelsat 39 and EDRS-C with Ariane 5

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