Ariane 5 orbits Intelsat 37e and BSAT-4a satellites

Friday, September 29th, 2017
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Ariane 5 orbits Intelsat 37e and BSAT-4a on Arianespace’s latest mission from the Spaceport

Arianespace orbited telecommunications satellites for long-time customers on today’s successful mission – confirming the company’s role as a launch services leader in terms of availability, reliability and performance.

Conducted from the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone in French Guiana, the successful mission delivered an estimated payload lift performance of 10,838 kg. to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) – utilizing the heavy-lift Ariane 5 member of Arianespace’s launcher family, which also includes the medium Soyuz and lightweight Vega.

Ariane 5 - VA239 launch

Designated Flight VA239, the mission carried Intelsat 37e for global operator Intelsat; along with BSAT-4a, which was launched as part of a turnkey contract between Japan’s Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT) and U.S.-based satellite manufacturer SSL. Intelsat 37e was deployed first in the flight sequence, separating from Ariane 5 at 29 minutes after liftoff, followed approximately 18 minutes later by BSAT-4a.

Another “Epic” launch for Intelsat

Intelsat 37e – built by Boeing using a 702MP platform – is the latest satellite from Intelsat’s high-throughput EpicNG series to be launched. It also marks the fourth EpicNG spacecraft orbited by Arianespace to date (following Ariane 5 missions with Intelsat 29e and Intelsat 33e in January and August 2016, respectively, plus last February’s heavy-lift flight that lofted SKY Brasil-1/Intelsat 32e).

As seen from the Jupiter Mission Control facility, Flight VA239’s heavy-lift Ariane 5 launcher ascends from the Spaceport with Intelsat 37e and BSAT-4a.

Overall, Intelsat 37e is the 59th Intelsat satellite launched by Arianespace since 1983, as well as the 55th Boeing-produced spacecraft orbited by the company – continuing a partnership that extends back to 1987. Arianespace’s order book includes three more satellites to be lofted for Intelsat. Two Boeing payloads are in the Arianespace order book for future missions: Horizon-3e and ViaSat 3F1.

Weighing an estimated 6,440 kg. at liftoff, Intelsat 37e will provide capacity for wireless backhaul, enterprise VSAT and mobility networks, carrying out its mission from a 342-deg. East orbital slot.

The launch leader for Japan

The second-released passenger on today’s successful Ariane 5 flight, BSAT-4a, will be used for Direct-To-Home (DTH) television relay in Japan, as well as to expand the availability of advanced television services (such as 4K/8K ultra-high definition TV). It will operate from a final orbital position of 110 deg. East.

Arianespace has launched all B-SAT satellites since this company’s creation, reflecting an unmatched position in the market. Since 1989, Arianespace has lofted a total of 29 GTO satellites for Japanese operators, representing more than 75 percent of the Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) market share in Japan.

Arianespace’s launch of BSAT-4a also continues its long-running partnership with SSL, having now launched a total of 64 satellites produced by this manufacturer since 1983 – with three more in the company’s order book (Azerspace2/Intelsat-38, Eutelsat 7C, and Intelsat 39).

Arianespace’s 2017 launch calendar

Flight VA239 was Arianespace’s ninth launch in 2017, and it follows other heavy-lift Ariane 5 missions performed this year on February 14 (carrying SKY Brasil-1 and Telkom 3S), May 4 (SGDC and KOREASAT-7), June 1 (ViaSat-2 and EUTELSAT 172B) and June 28 (Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN and GSAT-17).

Also conducted earlier in 2017 were Arianespace’s medium-lift Soyuz missions on January 27 (with Hispasat 36W-1) and May 18 (SES-15); plus light-lift Vega flights performed March 6 (Sentinel-2B) and August 1 (OPTSAT-3000 and Venµs).

Arianespace’s next mission – a Vega flight at the service of Thales Alenia Space – is planned for November 7.