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Ariane 5 January 9, 2020

Flight VA251: Arianespace’s first launch in 2020, using Ariane 5 at the service of Eutelsat and ISRO

For its initial flight of 2020, Arianespace will orbit two telecommunications satellites using an Ariane 5 launch vehicle from the Guiana Space Center: EUTELSAT KONNECT for the operator Eutelsat; and GSAT-30 for the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

Arianespace will confirm its leadership in the geostationary launch services market segment through this 107th Ariane 5 mission, to be performed as the company celebrates 40 years since its creation.

Flight VA251 will be performed from Ariane Launch Complex No. 3 (ELA 3) in Kourou, French Guiana.

The Launch Readiness Review (LRR) will take place on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 in Kourou to authorize the start of operations for the final countdown.

EUTELSAT KONNECT will be the 34th Eutelsat satellite launched by Arianespace since its first mission for this operator, which deployed EUTELSAT-1 F1 in 1983.

EUTELSAT KONNECT will offer total capacity of 75 Gbps and by next autumn will allow the operator to provide Internet access services for companies and individuals alike at up to 100 Mbps. The satellite will help to fight against the digital divide by bringing broadband Internet across 40 countries in Africa and 15 countries across Western Europe.

In Africa EUTELSAT KONNECT also will, through the establishment of public Wi-Fi terminals, share Internet access between several users, marketed in the form of coupons that can be paid via mobile phone.

The new EUTELSAT KONNECT satellite features all-electric propulsion and operates in Ka-band. It is the first to use Thales Alenia Space’s all-electric Spacebus NEO platform, developed under the Neosat Partnership Project conducted by the European and French space agencies (ESA and CNES).

Arianespace will also orbit GSAT-30 on the initial Ariane 5 launch in 2020, after delivering GSAT-31 for ISRO one year ago.

To be installed as flight VA251’s lower passenger, GSAT-30 is a telecommunications satellite designed and manufactured by ISRO. To be positioned at a longitude of 83° East, it will provide high-quality television, telecommunications and broadcasting services over Indian mainland and Islands.

GSAT-30 is configured on ISRO’s enhanced I-3K platform to provide communications services from geostationary orbit in C- and Ku-band for a lifetime greater than 15 years.

Since the launch of India’s APPLE experimental satellite on Ariane Flight L03 in 1981, Arianespace has orbited 23 satellites and signed 24 launch contracts with the Indian space agency. 

For further information, download the Flight VA251 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 January 16, 2020, 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 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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