During a 41-minute mission from the Spaceport in French Guiana, Ariane 5 deployed Intelsat 33e and Intelsat 36 into geostationary transfer orbit, making them the 57th and 58th Intelsat payloads lofted by Arianespace for the satellite service provider since 1983.
With this evening’s launch, designated Flight VA232, Intelsat retains its position as Arianespace’s no. 1 customer on missions to geostationary transfer orbit, with the launch services provider having lofted 50% of all Intelsat satellites in operation today.
“Intelsat entrusted two satellites to Arianespace on a single mission; this betokens a profound confidence in the reliability and flexibility of the Ariane 5 launcher,” explained Arianespace Chairman and CEO Stéphane Israël.
Israël added the partnership will continue next year with Arianespace’s launch of two more satellites, Intelsat 32e and Intelsat 37e.
After confirmation of the two satellites’ separation on Flight VA232, Ken Lee, Intelsat’s SVP of Space Systems, thanked Arianespace for the mission.
“Ariane has the reputation of delivering, and today it delivered not one, but two of our satellites successfully into orbit. We truly appreciate our partnership, and the fact that we have marked another flawless mission together!”
Built for Intelsat by Space Systems/Loral (SSL), Intelsat 36 is designed to enhance Intelsat’s media neighborhoods serving Africa and the Indian Ocean regions. The Ku-band payload was built to support MultiChoice, the leading direct-to-home platform in South Africa. The C-band payload provides in-orbit resilience for Intelsat’s leading video content distribution neighborhood at 68.5 degrees East Intelsat 36 will be collocated with Intelsat 20.
“Intelsat 36 is a testament to our dedication to working closely with our customers in Africa to support critical growing infrastructure needs in the region,” said Stephen Spengler, CEO, Intelsat.
“Having consistent and affordable access to informative and entertaining content is vital to a community and its citizens. Intelsat 36 will enable MultiChoice to extend high definition channels throughout the region via one of Africa’s premier video neighborhoods. We are proud to once again partner with MultiChoice as they continue to deliver high quality and compelling educational and entertainment services to their customers throughout sub-Saharan Africa.”
Intelsat 33e, manufactured by Boeing, will bring high throughput capacity in both C- and Ku-band to the Africa, Europe, Middle East and Asia regions from 60 degrees East. The satellite will join Intelsat 29e, the first Intelsat EpicNG satellite, which was launched in January 2016 over the Americas and North Atlantic Ocean region, to form a high throughput overlay to Intelsat’s fleet of satellites.