Orbited by Arianespace Flight VA238 from the Spaceport in French Guiana were a so-called “condosat” composed of two payloads for Hellas Sat and Inmarsat, along with a spacecraft for the Indian Space Research Organisation.
Riding as the upper passenger on Flight VA238 was Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN, which integrated two relay payloads.
The payload for Hellas Sat 3 will expand this company’s business reach by providing DTH TV broadcast and telecommunications services, as well as the distribution of HD and UHD video content in Europe, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. These fixed satellite services and broadcast satellite services include a cross-strap service between Europe and South Africa.
Christodoulos Protopapas, the CEO of Hellas Sat, congratulated Arianespace on successfully orbiting the Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN spacecraft, and said he was looking forward to the launch of his company’s next satellite – Hellas Sat 4 – scheduled on an Arianespace mission in 2018.
Also integrated on the Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN satellite is a relay payload for a system developed by Inmarsat with Deutsche Telekom to offer high-speed, high-capacity Wi-Fi connections for airline passengers.
Inmarsat Chief Technology Officer Michele Franci thanked Arianespace as part of the European effort that will bring cabin connectivity to passengers across Europe. “This satellite was riding on one of Europe’s best successes – Ariane,” he added.
Weighing an estimated 5,780 kg. at liftoff, Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN was produced by Thales Alenia Space using its Spacebus 4000C4 platform. With the satellite’s successful launch today, Arianespace has now orbited a total of 149 spacecraft built by the company – continuing a long-time partnership.
Bertrand Maureau, EVP, Telecommunications at Thales Alenia Space, acknowledged Ariane 5’s mission performance this evening, and noted that Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN was the fourth satellite from his company launched by Arianespace so far this year.
The dual-payload condosat has a total coverage area that includes spans Europe, the Middle East and sub-Saharan African regions, and will operate from a 39-deg. East orbital slot.
GSAT-17 was the 21st spacecraft orbited by Arianespace for the Indian Space Research Organisation, extending a relationship that dates back to 1981 with launch of the Apple experimental satellite.