Latest Press releases

Ariane 5 January 27, 2016

Flight VA228: The successful launch of Intelsat 29e, and Ariane 5’s 70th success in a row

Arianespace has successfully launched Intelsat 29e for the international operator Intelsat. Arianespace’s first launch of the year, and its 56th performed for Intelsat, took place on January 27 at 8:20 pm (local time) from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. This 70th success in a row for Ariane 5 initiates another ambitious year for Arianespace, which is planning to launch up to eight Ariane 5 missions during 2016.

Arianespace and Intelsat: a partnership of more than 30 years

Intelsat 29e is the first of Intelsat’s next-generation Intelsat EpicNG high-throughput series of satellites.

The satellite will deliver carrier-grade services to fixed and mobile operators and broadband infrastructure for enterprise and government applications throughout the Americas.

The satellite also includes Ku-band high throughput spot beams for aeronautical and maritime mobility customers serving the heavily trafficked North Atlantic region.

The C-band beam will support media content distribution services for all of South America.

Intelsat 29e has a total throughput of 25 gigabits per second.

Intelsat 29e is the 56th Intelsat satellite to be orbited by Arianespace, starting with Intelsat 507 in October 1983. Arianespace and Intelsat – which is the world’s leading provider of satellite services in terms of revenues and in-orbit capacity – have built up a very solid partnership since the outset of their relationship. For example, half of the current Intelsat fleet now in orbit was launched by Arianespace.

70th successful launch in a row for Ariane 5

Today’s mission, the 84th for Ariane 5, kicks off an ambitious year for Arianespace. The launch operator’s objective is to carry out 11 launches in 2016, including up to eight Ariane 5 missions.

This latest launch is the 70th successful launch in a row for Ariane 5. During the past 13 years, it has logged a remarkable track record:

  • Total weight boosted into orbit: 590 metric tons.
  • 57 dual launches and 13 single launches, with nearly 90% going to GTO: 75% for commercial customers, and 25% for government customers.
  • 139 satellites orbited.

Ariane 5 sets the launch standard for geostationary telecom satellites; Launch after launch, Ariane 5 confirms its performance, reliability and availability.

Shortly after the announcement of the orbital injection of Intelsat 29e, Arianespace Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Israël said:

“We are very proud this evening. First, we have successfully orbited the first next-generation EpicNG satellite for Intelsat, contributing to the deployment of this innovative technology for fixed and mobile very-high-speed communications. Secondly, because this mission is the 70th successful launch of Ariane 5 in 13 years; a performance that cements its position as the most reliable commercial launcher in the world. This launch also marks the return of Boeing to the Guiana Space Center, and we are very happy to welcome them back. I would therefore like to thank Intelsat for its unwavering confidence during more than 30 years. Congratulations to the industrial teams in charge of Ariane 5 production under the leadership of prime contractor Airbus Safran Launchers, for their outstanding work. Thanks also to ESA, prime contractor for the Ariane program; to our partner CNES-CSG; and to all staff at the launch base. And finally, bravo to all of the Arianespace teams, whose commitment is only equaled by their operational and commercial excellence.”

The Intelsat 29e satellite weighed 6,552 kg. at liftoff, and it offers a design life exceeding 15 years.

To be positioned at 310° East, it offers 20 C-band transponders, 249 Ku-band transponders (36 MHz) and 450 MHz in Ka band.

Intelsat 29e was built by Boeing using a Boeing 702MP platform. It is the 51st satellite built by Boeing to be launched by Arianespace.

The Arianespace launch manifest includes four more Boeing satellites: two Intelsat EpicNG, SES 15 and one from an undisclosed customer.

The VA228 launch in numbers


satellite launched by Arianespace


Ariane 5 launch


Ariane 5 launch in 2016


Arianespace launch of the year

The mission at a glance

The launch was carried out on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 from the Ariane launch complex No. 3 (ELA3) in Kourou, French Guiana, at: 08:20 p.m., local time
11:20 p.m., UTC
00:20 a.m., Paris time, on January 28
06:20 p.m., Washington D.C. time.

The launcher’s payload lift performance was

6,700 kg.

About Arianespace

Arianespace is the world’s leading satellite launch company. Founded in 1980, Arianespace deploys a family of three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, to meet the needs of both commercial and government customers, and has performed over 270 launches to date. Backed by its 20 shareholders and the European Space Agency, Arianespace is the only company in the world capable of launching all types of payloads into all orbits, from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana. As of January 27, 2015, Arianespace had carried out 228 Ariane launches, 39 Soyuz launches (13 at the Guiana Space Center and 26 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, via Starsem) and six Vega launches. Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, near Paris, and has a facility at the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana, plus local offices in Washington D.C., Tokyo and Singapore.

Lancement VA228 : mission réussie pour Intelsat 29e et 70e succès d’affilée d’Ariane 5
PDF / 698 KB
Ariane 5 January 20, 2016

Arianespace’s first launch in 2016 is at the service of Intelsat

Read more
Tune in on close