KOUROU, French Guiana --- For its first launch of the year, Ariane 5 placed two telecommunications satellites in orbit: EUTELSAT KONNECT for Eutelsat and GSAT-30 for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
This was the 251st flight of an Ariane launcher, which celebrated its 40th anniversary on December 24, 2019
Arianespace, operator of the Ariane rocket, has scheduled 10 launches by 2022, including four more in 2020
For its first launch of the year from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, Ariane 5 placed two satellites in geostationary transfer orbit (GTO): the EUTELSAT KONNECT satellite for Eutelsat and the GSAT-30 satellite for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
The total performance required of the launcher was 7,888 kg, including 6,976 kg for the two satellites injected into an orbit inclined 6° to the equator.
“This successful first launch kicks off a special year for the Ariane sector because 2020 is the year of the inaugural flight of Ariane 6, which will be gradually taking over from Ariane 5 through to 2023. Ariane 5 will continue to demonstrate its incredible reliability for a further 10 flights, while series production of the first Ariane 6 models is underway at the industrial sites of ArianeGroup and its partners in Europe,” said André-Hubert Roussel, CEO of ArianeGroup.
“As this new year begins, I wish to extend my very best wishes for success and my thanks for their commitment to all the engineers, technicians and colleagues in ArianeGroup, all of our industrial partners, and our launch-operator subsidiary, Arianespace. Their expertise and talent have made Ariane successful for 40 years. My thanks also go to the teams at ESA and CNES, for their continued confidence and support.”
As industrial prime contractor for the development, production and operation of Ariane 5 and Ariane 6 launchers, ArianeGroup coordinates an industrial network bringing together more than 600 companies in 13 European countries, including 350 Small and Medium Enterprises. ArianeGroup manages all industrial activities relating to Ariane 5, from studies and performance improvements to its production, the supply of data or software specific to each mission. This chain includes equipment and structures, engine manufacturing, integration of the different stages, then integration of the launcher in French Guiana. ArianeGroup delivers a flight-ready launcher on the launch pad to its subsidiary Arianespace, which operates the flight from take-off on behalf of its customers.
Ariane Flight 251 flight in figures:
-- 107th launch of an Ariane 5
-- 82nd consecutive nominal ignition of the Vulcain® 2 engine
-- 107th consecutive nominal ignition of the EAP solid propellant boosters
-- 147th consecutive nominal ignition of the HM7B engine
ArianeGroup develops and supplies innovative and competitive solutions for civil and military space launchers, with expertise in all aspects of state-of-the-art propulsion technologies. ArianeGroup is lead contractor for Europe’s Ariane 5 and Ariane 6 launcher families, responsible for both design and the entire production chain, up to and including marketing by its Arianespace subsidiary, as well as for the missiles of the French oceanic deterrent force. The group is a joint venture equally owned by Airbus and Safran, and employs approximately 9,000 highly qualified staff in France and Germany. Its 2018 revenues amounted to 3.6 billion euros.