French Guyana - The fifth Arianespace mission of 2010 orbited two telecommunications payloads today: one for an emerging new player in the broadband marketplace; and the other for a long-time customer that is the world’s leading provider of fixed satellite services.
Lifting off this afternoon from the Spaceport’s ELA 3 launch zone in French Guiana, the heavy-lift Ariane 5 deployed its Intelsat 17 and HYLAS 1 passengers during a daytime mission lasting 49 minutes. It was the 54th mission for the workhorse Arianespace vehicle and the 198th flight of an Ariane family launcher.
“Less than one month after our most recent Ariane 5 liftoff, we are together once again to celebrate the performance, reliability and availability of our launcher – which this evening marked its 40th consecutive success,” said Arianespace Chairman & CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall in comments from the Spaceport’s mission control room. “This success also reinforces Ariane 5’s position as a global reference, because since the start of 2010, it already has enabled us to orbit 10 large telecommunications satellites out of the 17 total launched worldwide.”
Ariane 5 continued its track record of on-target payload deliveries, with the following provisional orbital parameters at the injection of its cryogenic upper stage:
- Perigee: 249.3 km. for a target of 249.3 km.
- Apogee: 35,950 km. for a target of 35,943 km.
- Inclination: 1.98 deg. for a target of 2.00 deg.
Intelsat 17 was released first during today’s mission. This 5,500-kg. spacecraft was built by Space Systems/Loral using its LS 1300 Omega satellite bus, and will deliver a wide range of communications services for Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India. The satellite will be positioned at an orbital slot of 66 deg. East, operating with 25 Ku-band and 24 C-band transponders.
Le Gall noted Arianespace’s long relationship with Intelsat, which spans almost three decades. “It was a few kilometers from here that an Ariane 1 launcher – operating from the ELA 1 launch site – orbited the Intelsat 5 satellite, which also was built by Space Systems/Loral,” Le Gall stated. “Nearly 30 years later, we are marking the 51st satellite launched by Arianespace for Intelsat, which – over the years – has become one of our most important customers. This also is the 29th time that a Space/Systems Loral-built spacecraft has been placed in geostationary transfer orbit with the services of Arianespace.”
HYLAS 1 is the first satellite lofted by Arianespace for Avanti Communications. Designed and built by EADS Astrium in partnership with the Indian Space Research Organisation, HYLAS 1 is to bring high-speed broadband services to remote rural areas across Europe – using the flexibility of its payload to change the bandwidth of its 8 Ka-band beams from an orbital position of 33.5 deg. West, maximizing the satellite’s efficiency. This is complemented by a Ku-band broadcast capability.
“I would like to congratulate Avanti Communications for this superb entry into the world of space-based telecommunications operators,” Le Gall said. “The decision to place its confidence in Arianespace for the launch of this satellite becomes particularly pertinent this evening, as HYLAS 1 was launched with success before the end of 2010 – which is exactly as desired by our customer.”
Le Gall noted that Arianespace is continuing its commercial success, as its order book backlog of satellites to be launched counts 29 satellites and six Automated Transfer Vehicles to be orbited – representing 22 Ariane 5 missions, along with 17 for Soyuz.
“Since the start of this year, we have signed 10 contracts for the launch of geostationary orbit satellites, along with six contracts for payloads to be launched by Soyuz,” he added. “I want to honor all who have contributed to this remarkable success.”
INTELSAT 17/HYLAS 1 mission at a glance
The mission was carried out by an Ariane 5 ECA launcher from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Liftoff was on Friday, November 26, 2010 at 3:39 pm local time in Kourou (1:39 pm in Washington, D.C., 18:39 UT, 7:39 pm in Paris, and on Saturday, November 27, at 3:39 am in Tokyo).
The INTELSAT 17 satellite was built by Space Systems/Loral, in Palo Alto, California, using an LS 1300 Omega Bus platform. It weighed 5,540 kg at launch, and is fitted with a hybrid C- and Ku-band payload. Positioned at 66 degrees East, it has a design life of 18 years. INTELSAT 17 will deliver a wide range of communication services for Europe, the Middle East, Russia and Asia. It will also enable Intelsat to expand its C-band coverage by providing video services to the Indian Ocean region. INTELSAT 17 will replace INTELSAT 702.
HYLAS 1 was built by an industrial consortium formed by EADS Astrium and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), using a I-2K platform. HYLAS 1 has been developed with the technical and financial contribution of the European Space Agency. HYLAS 1 uses the new innovative concept of 'Generic Flexible Payload (GFP)', which has been developed by Astrium within ESA’s ARTES Programme, which allows adapting the frequency plan to the market’s needs. Fitted with eight Ka-band transponders and two Ku-band transponders, the satellite will be positioned at 33.5 degrees West, and will be the first multi-beam European satellite to offer high-speed broadband services across Europe. HYLAS 1 weighed 2,570 kg at launch, and has a design life exceeding 15 years.
Arianespace is maintaining its sustained mission pace, with the final launch of 2010 planned for December 21 with the Hispasat 1E and KOREASAT 6 satellites.
See the official Arianespace launch kit for further information on this mission.
|This aerial photo details Ariane 5’s initial climb-out from the ELA 3 launch zone at Europe’s Spaceport, which is located adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean coastline in French Guiana Photo Credit: Arianespace