Ariane launches Eutelsat 21B and Star One C3

UPDATE. An Ariane 5 rocket has successfully orbited the Eutelsat 21B and Star One C3 satellites, following lift off on time on Saturday, November 10, at 18.05 local time in Kourou.

Saturday’s launch was originally scheduled to take place 24 hours earlier, but Arianespace decided to postpone Ariane 5 flight 210 for 24 hours as weather conditions over the Guiana Space Center in Kourou were unfavorable. High-altitude winds over the Spaceport’s launch site exceeded the limits that are part of safety conditions for every Ariane 5 mission, leading to the postponement decision.

Lifting off on time at 18.05 local time from the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch complex in French Guiana, the heavy-lift workhorse deployed its Eutelsat 21B and Star One C3 spacecraft passengers during a 33-minute mission. It was the 66th flight of an Ariane 5 and the 210th launch of a European-built Ariane family vehicle, maintaining Arianespace’s sustained mission pace in 2012.

“This continues our series of records with the 52nd consecutive success of our Ariane 5 launcher, which represents a reliability level that is unequaled in our industry and guarantees European access to space for the benefit of our institutional and commercial customers,” said Arianespace Chairman & CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall, in a statement.

Eutelsat 21B was the 26th satellite launched by Arianespace for the European-based Eutelsat telecommunications operator, while Star One C3 marked the ninth Brazilian telecommunications platform that Arianespace has orbited.

Star One C3 is the newest member in the third generation of satellites for Brazil’s Star One. Produced by Orbital Sciences Corporation with 28 C-band and 16 Ku-band transponders, the satellite will replace the Brasilsat B3 satellite, currently operating at the 75 degrees West.

On the Arianespace website there is a video of the launch available.