by Staff Writers
Kourou, French Guiana (SPX) Sep 09, 2013
Today marked another mission accomplished for Arianespace's heavy-lift workhorse as it deployed the EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail 1 and GSAT-7 spacecraft from the Spaceport in French Guiana - on what is the 57th consecutive success for Ariane 5.
Following an impressive daylight liftoff from the ELA-3 launch zone at 5:30 p.m. local time, both satellites were deployed into geostationary transfer orbit, with EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail 1 released nearly 28 minutes after liftoff, and GSAT-7 separating approximately six minutes later to complete the flight sequence.
Ariane 5 delivered a total liftoff performance of 9,790 kg., including its two passengers and hardware for the launcher's dual-payload deployment system. Today's mission represents the 215th launch of an Ariane-series vehicle, as well as the 71st liftoff for Ariane 5.
"Tonight is a very special evening for Arianespace, we can celebrate both the long standing relationships we enjoy with Eutelsat and ISRO [the Indian Space Research Organisation], and also the beginning of what I hope will be another long one with Es'hailSat," said Stephane Israel, Arianespace's Chairman and CEO. "Es'hailSat, like more than 80 percent of new entrants in the satellite communications industry, has chosen Arianespace to start their journey to space."
He added: "Bravo to all teams involved in tonight's success! Once again Arianespace and its partners worldwide have made a difference."
Ariane Flight VA215 underscored the continued successful relationship with Arianespace and two long-standing partners, while also marking the start-up with another.
India's national Indian Space Research Organisation space agency, which developed GSAT-7, has a long history of launching payloads with Arianespace - dating back to the third mission of an Ariane-series vehicle in 1981. Arianespace now has launched 17 satellites for ISRO, including INSAT-3D, which was a co-passenger on last month's Ariane Flight VA214.
For European telecommunications operator Eutelsat Communications, this launch continues a more than 30-year relationship with Arianespace, as EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail is the 27th satellite launched for this longtime customer.
"Arianespace has not only a great launcher - Ariane 5 is today the best launcher in the world - but also a great team of people who work day and night to provide extraordinary service to its customers," said Eutelsat Communications CEO Michel de Rosen.
In addition, EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail 1 - a ground-breaking partnership between Eutelsat and the Doha-based Es'hailSat, the Qatar Satellite Company - marked a historic moment for the Qatari operator: the first satellite of its planned global fleet.
"Es'hail 1 is the first step in our strategy to enhance the availability and quality of communication services in the region," said Dr. Hessa Al-Jaber, Qatar's Minister of Communications and Information Technology. "I'm pleased that this vision has become a reality."
Operating from a position of 25.5 deg. East, EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail 1, will provide coverage of the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia for both Eutelsat and Es'hailSat, delivering Ku-band television broadcasting, telecommunications and government services for this area, while its Ka-band capability will open new business opportunities for the two operators.
Built by Space Systems/Loral (SSL), EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail had a liftoff mass of approximately 6,300 kg., located in the upper position of Ariane 5's payload "stack." It is based on the SSL 1300 bus with a design life of 15 years or more.
Riding as the lower passenger with a liftoff mass of 2,650 kg., GSAT-7 was deployed 34 minutes after liftoff to complete Ariane 5's mission.
"Congratulations to Arianespace for doing such an excellent job," said Dr. S. K. Shivakumar, the Director of the ISRO Satellite Center. "On behalf of the Indian government, ISRO, and all my colleagues at ISRO, we thank Arianespace, and of course the rest of the people who worked on this mission, for placing our satellite in the correct orbit."
The spacecraft developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation is based on India's I-2K spacecraft bus and will provide relay capacity in UHF, S-band, C-band and Ku-band from 74 deg. East longitude for the Indian subcontinent, during its design life of seven years.
To date, Arianespace has lofted 20 payloads in 2013 on seven missions across its entire family. Ariane 5 has carried seven spacecraft into orbit on its four missions so far this year, with a combined total payload lift performance of more than 50,000 kg.
The medium-lift Soyuz and lightweight Vega have been active as well, with one mission each from the Spaceport, in addition to a Soyuz flight from the Baikonur Cosmodrome conducted by Arianespace's Starsem affiliate.
Arianespace's next launch - Soyuz Flight VS06 - will orbit the second batch of four O3b Networks' spacecraft during late September, following the initial four lofted by Soyuz in June. Soyuz Flight VS07, the medium-lift vehicle's subsequent mission from French Guiana, is to launch Europe's Gaia "star-mapper" spacecraft in late November.
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com
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