Arianespace’s mission with the Arabsat-5A and COMS satellites was successfully launched from Europe’s Spaceport on Saturday, June 26. It was the third launch attempt following two aborted countdowns.
“This launch is the 37th consecutive success for our Ariane 5 launcher, and it clearly demonstrates our policy of quality – which is exactly what you – our customers expect, and I thank you for the confidence you have always shown for us,” Arianespace Chairman & CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall said in a statement from the Spaceport’s Jupiter mission control room.
He noted that Arianespace maintains a strong backlog of satellites to be orbited, which has been further expanded with additional contracts concluded so far this year.
“Since the creation of our company 30 years ago, we have successfully launched 281 satellites,” Le Gall said. “And this will continue, as our order book today has 34 satellites for launch to geostationary orbit, along with six Ariane 5 missions with the Automated Transfer Vehicle, and 17 launches to be performed by Soyuz. And since the beginning of 2010, we already have signed nine new contracts – the latest of which is with the Argentinean operator Arsat, which I am announcing today as a new contract.”
During the launch, the Arabsat-5A satellite was deployed first during the flight sequence, being released from atop Ariane 5’s payload “stack” at 26 min. into the mission. Produced by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space on a turnkey contract for the Arabsat telecommunications operator, the satellite had a mass at liftoff of about 4,940 kg.
Arabsat-5A carries 24 Ku-band transponders and 28 C-band transponders for telecommunications and TV broadcasting services over the Middle East and Africa. Astrium provided the Eurostar 3000 spacecraft platform and was responsible for satellite integration, while Thales Alenia Space supplied the payload.
Following this launch, Le Gall announced that the next Ariane 5 mission will be another dual-passenger flight, which is scheduled for August 3 with Rascom-QAF 1R and Nilesat 201.
For more information on the mission, see our pre-launch story here.