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Ariane 5 September 18, 2018

Flight VA243: The 100th Ariane 5 will carry Horizons 3e and Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38 for Intelsat, SKY Perfect JSAT and Azercosmos

For its sixth launch of the year, Arianespace will orbit two telecommunications satellites using an Ariane 5 from the Guiana Space Center (CSG): Horizons 3e, installed as the upper passenger, for Intelsat and its partner SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation; along with Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38, as the lower passenger, for Azercosmos and Intelsat.

With this 300th mission of its three-member launcher family – and the 100th utilizing the European-developed heavy-lift Ariane 5 – Arianespace once again serves the ambitions of leading satellite operators, both globally and regionally.

Flight VA243 will be from Ariane Launch Complex No. 3 (ELA 3) in Kourou, French Guiana.

The Launch Readiness Review (LRR) will take place on Friday, September 21, 2018 in Kourou, to authorize the start of operations for the final countdown. 

Flight VA243 will be a significant milestone in the operational career of Ariane 5, marking the 100th liftoff of this workhorse vehicle, as well as the 300th launch for Arianespace’s family of launchers.

To be installed as Ariane 5’s upper passenger on Flight VA243, Horizons 3e is owned by a joint venture between Intelsat and SKY Perfect JSAT, marking the fourth collaboration between the two companies.

The satellite will complete Intelsat EpicNG’s global coverage and provide broadband, mobility and government customers with unmatched performance, resiliency and redundancy, bringing the next level of high-throughput services to the Asia-Pacific region and expanding coverage in the Pacific Ocean.

The 6,441-kg. satellite will provide 30 gigabits per second of bandwidth for fixed and mobile customers, and it is to be stationed at the 169° East orbital location to replace Intelsat 805.

Built by Boeing, Horizons 3e will be the 60th Intelsat satellite, as well as the 20th for SKY Perfect JSAT, to be launched by Arianespace – and as such, it embodies the unique partnership between Intelsat, SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation and Arianespace.

Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38 is a multi-mission satellite to be located at 45° East.

For the second time, Arianespace will support the development of Azercosmos – the premier satellite operator in the South Caucasus region – by launching Azerbaijan’s second geostationary satellite, Azerspace-2. It will be Azercosmos’ second telecommunications satellite and is to expand on the current capacity of Azerspace-1.

The satellite will offer enhanced capacity, coverage and service offerings to support growing demand in the region for Direct-to-Home (DTH), government and network services in Europe, Central and South Asia, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. It is ideally designed for smaller antennas and has cross-connectivity between East Africa, West Africa and Central Africa, Europe and Central Asia. 

Intelsat 38 is a Ku-band satellite to be placed at the 45ºE orbital location.  It will replace Intelsat 12 and host Direct-to-Home (DTH) platforms for Central and Eastern Europe as well as the Asia-Pacific region.  Intelsat 38 will also provide connectivity for corporate networks and government applications in Africa.

California-based SSL, a Maxar Technologies Company, is the prime contractor of Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38. 

For further information, download the Flight VA243 Launch Kit by clicking here:

To watch a live, high-speed online transmission of the launch (including commentary in French and English from the launch site), go to  or to on September 25, 2018, beginning 20 minutes before liftoff.

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 570 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 17 other shareholders from the European launcher industry.

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