This heavy-lift mission carried EchoStar XVIII and Brisat, and it delivered a total calculated mass of 10,730 kg. into geostationary transfer orbit – setting a new launch benchmark for the Ariane 5 ECA version. The total included some 9,840 kg. for the two spacecraft, along with the dispenser system and integration hardware in Ariane 5’s dual payload arrangement.
Ariane 5 lifted off from the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone for a 42-minute flight, which marked the workhorse vehicle’s 72nd consecutive success, as well as the 230th flight of an Ariane-series launcher overall.
Riding in the upper position of Ariane 5’s payload configuration, EchoStar XVIII was released first during the flight sequence, and is the fifth spacecraft entrusted to Arianespace for launch by US-based operator Dish Network.
This satellite, which is to be operated from a final orbital position of 110 degrees West, features a high-power multi-spot beam in the Ku-band to assure the highest levels of ongoing service to customers in the contiguous United States, Alaska and Hawaii.
“I suppose if it were possible to drink a several-hundred-million-dollar bottle of Bordeaux wine, tonight’s success is exactly what it would taste like,” said Derek de Bastos, CTO at EchoStar, in his post-launch comments.
The mission also delivered the banking communications satellite Brisat, the world’s first communications satellite dedicated to banking, to be operated by P.T. Bank Rakyat Indonesia.