EVRY, France --- Arianespace has successfully orbited two telecommunications satellites: the Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1/Hellas Sat 4 condosat for operators KACST and Hellas Sat; and GSAT-31 for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Arianespace’s first launch of the year took place on Tuesday, February 5 at 6:01 p.m. (local time) from the Guiana Space Center (CSG), Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana (South America).
Today’s launch was the 103rd Ariane 5 mission, bringing the number of geostationary satellites launched by Arianespace to 374.
Following the announcement of this first successful launch of the year, Stéphane Israël, Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace, said: “This year we kick off the 40th anniversary celebration of the first launch of Europe’s Ariane rocket with a successful launch of Ariane 5. Through this emblematic flight, Arianespace underscores the reliability of our heavy launcher, the benchmark in the launch segment for geostationary telecommunications satellites. By carrying out a mission for long-lasting customers from three continents – Arabsat, KACST, Hellas Sat and ISRO – we continue to prove the attractiveness of Arianespace’s launch services for customers from around the world, both institutional and commercial.”
Supporting telecommunications on three continents
The Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1/Hellas Sat 4 (also called HS-4/SGS-1) satellite comprises two payloads, with coverage zones encompassing Europe, the Middle East and South Africa:
– Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1 will provide advanced communications services for Saudi Arabia’s KACST (King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology), as well as secure communications for countries belonging to the Gulf Cooperative Council region.
– Hellas Sat 4 will provide advanced regional communications services for Arabsat’s subsidiary, Hellas Sat, the Greek-Cypriot satellite operator.
After launching GSAT-11 for ISRO on the final Ariane 5 mission of 2018, Arianespace has now orbited GSAT-31 on its first mission in 2019.
With GSAT-31, ISRO continues to develop its space infrastructure to reduce the digital divide in India. The next ISRO geostationary satellite to be launched by Arianespace will be GSAT-30.
Arianespace confirms its leadership in the geostationary launch market
This first Ariane 5 mission of the year placed two satellites in geostationary transfer orbit. Arianespace confirmed its business momentum and leadership in the geostationary telecommunications satellite market during 2018 by signing launch contracts for eight more satellites, bringing the total number of geostationary telecommunications satellites in its backlog of launch orders to 26.
Up to five Ariane 5 dual launches are planned in 2019, to orbit a total of 10 geostationary satellites.
Arianespace has orbited more than 590 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.
Designed by French CNES space agency within the scope of a European Space Agency program with 12 participating countries, Ariane 5 is built by ArianeGroup as industrial prime contractor.