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Ariane 5 November 27, 2018

Flight VA246: Arianespace serves the Indian and Korean space programs with its launch of GSAT-11 for ISRO and GEO-KOMPSAT-2A for KARI

For its 10th launch of 2018, the sixth of the year using an Ariane 5 vehicle, Arianespace will serve the space ambitions of two leading agencies by orbiting GSAT-11 for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and GEO-KOMPSAT-2A for the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI).

With this mission dedicated to space applications for telecommunications, weather and climate studies, Arianespace once again contributes to a better life on Earth.

Flight VA246 will be performed from Ariane Launch Complex No. 3 (ELA 3) in Kourou, French Guiana.

The Launch Readiness Review (LRR) will take place on Monday, December 3, 2018 in Kourou to authorize the start of operations for the final countdown.

To be installed as Ariane 5’s upper passenger, GSAT-11 is an operational telecommunication satellite designed and manufactured by ISRO.

To be positioned at 74° East, GSAT-11  ̶  ISRO’s largest and heaviest communication satellite ever  ̶  is configured on its next-generation I-6K structure to provide communications services from geostationary orbit in Ku- and Ka-bands in both forward and return links.

Offering a multi-spot beam coverage over the Indian mainland and nearby islands, GSAT-11 will bring significant advantages to users when compared with existing INSAT/GSAT satellite systems. Its designed lifetime is more than 15 years.

With two ISRO’s additional satellites remaining in Arianespace’s order book (GSAT-31 and GSAT-30), the launch of GSAT-11 is to be another vivid demonstration of the strong bond uniting Europe and India in space cooperation.

The GEO-KOMPSAT-2 program is a national program of the Korean Government to develop and operate two civilian geostationary satellites, GEO-KOMPSAT-2A and -2B.

Positioned on Ariane 5 as Flight VA246’s lower passenger, GEO-KOMPSAT-2A is designed to conduct meteorological and space weather monitoring missions whereas GEO-KOMPSAT-2B is to carry out Earth environment monitoring and ocean monitoring missions.

Covering the Asia-Pacific region, this weather satellite will be stationed at the 128.2° East orbital location for a 10-year nominal life in service. Developed by KARI at its facility in Daejeon, South-Korea, GEO-KOMPSAT-2A will be KARI’s second satellite, and the seventh for South-Korea to be lofted by Arianespace. 

Prior to Flight VA246, Arianespace has orbited 588th satellites, out of which 115 were launched for eight space agencies around the world (Europe, France, Italy, Sweden, U.S., India, Korea and Japan).

GSAT-11 and GEO-KOMPSAT-2A will be the 589th and 590th satellites to be orbited by Arianespace.   

For further information, download the Flight VA246 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 December 4, 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 580 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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