Arianespace to launch three satellites towards Geostationary Orbit on July 28
Final step in Ariane 5 latest performance improvement program decided in 2016, Flight VA253 brings the total increase in payload capacity to 300 kg since then.
The two of the three companies whose satellites are being launched are both long-standing customers – Intelsat for 37 years and B-SAT for 23 years – clearly proving the excellence of Arianespace’s service offering and long-term customer relations.
The third, Northrop Grumman’s wholly-owned subsidiary, SpaceLogistics LLC, is a first-time customer to Arianespace.
Since the reopening of the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana, teams from Arianespace and ArianeGroup have focused on preparing this very innovative mission under the best possible conditions.
Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 launch from the Guiana Space Center (CSG) in Kourou, French Guiana, is scheduled for Tuesday, July 28, in a launch window from 21:29 UTC to 22:15 UTC.
Satellites to be placed in orbit will serve Japanese B-SAT and operators Intelsat and Northrop Grumman’s SpaceLogistics LLC. BSAT-4b was built by the American company Maxar Technologies and will be used to broadcast Ultra-High-Definition (UHD, 4K and 8K) direct-to-home television broadcasting across Japan, in conjunction with its twin, BSAT-4a, also built by Maxar and launched by Arianespace in 2017.
The other two satellites on this mission were built by the American company Northrop Grumman: the Galaxy 30 UHD video distribution/broadcast and broadband satellite, built for the global network operator, Intelsat, will cover North America, and MEV-2 (Mission Extension Vehicle), a highly innovative satellite servicing vehicle designed to dock to satellites in orbit to provide life extension services. The first customer for MEV-2 will be the Intelsat 10-02 satellite, in geostationary orbit since 2004. MEV-2 will provide five years of service to this satellite.
This mission will use the Ariane 5 heavy-lift launcher, developed and manufactured by ArianeGroup, which has increased its payload capacity by 85 kg for this flight, thanks to the introduction of a new vehicle equipment bay (VEB), bringing total payload capacity into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) to 10,200 kg. Since kicking off a continuous improvement program for Ariane 5 in 2016, ArianeGroup has increased this launcher’s payload capacity by 300 kg for the benefit of Arianespace. Their customers will continue to benefit from this enhanced performance on Ariane 5 for the rest of its missions.
The Ariane 5 launcher is a joint European government-industry program. Arianespace is responsible for marketing and operating Ariane 5 launches from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, with support from the French space agency CNES and the European Space Agency (ESA). ArianeGroup is in charge of all design and production, from initial design studies, upgrades and manufacturing, to the supply of data and software for each mission. Its specific responsibilities include the production of equipment, structures and propulsion systems, integration of the different stages, and integration of the complete launcher in French Guiana.
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 650 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.