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80th consecutive success for Ariane 5
Ariane 5 lifts off on 28th June. © ESA / CNES / Arianespace

80th consecutive success for Ariane 5

Arianespace has taken its string of consecutive Ariane 5 mission successes to 80, following the successful launch of Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN and GSAT-17 on 28th June.

Arianespace has successfully launched the Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN “condosat” and the GSAT-17 satellite for India’s space agency, ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization).

The launch took place on 28th June at 6:15 p.m. (local time), from the Guiana Space Center (CSG). This seventh launch of the year, and the fourth by Ariane 5, marks the 80th successful launch in a row by the European heavy launcher.

The Hellas-Inmarsat satellite, built by Thales Alenia Space, had a lift-off mass of 5,780kg, while GSAT-17, built by ISRO/ISAC (ISRO Satellite Center), weighed in at 3,476kg.

The Hellas Sat 3 payload, the second for the operator Hellas Sat and the first to be orbited by Arianespace, will expand the company’s business reach by providing direct-to-home (DTH) TV broadcast and telecommunications services, as well as the distribution of high-definition (HD) and ultra-high definition (UHD) video content in Europe, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.

Arianespace has another Hellas Sat satellite, Hellas Sat 4, in its order book.

Inmarsat S EAN (European Aviation Network) is the ninth payload orbited by Arianespace for Inmarsat since the launch of MARECS A in 1981.

The Inmarsat S EAN payload comprises the space segment of a new hybrid system, integrating satellite-based services with a complementary ground network developed by Inmarsat’s strategic partner Deutsche Telekom.

The EAN network, which will commence commercial services in the second half of 2017, aims to deliver seamless inflight WiFi service for Europe’s airlines and their passengers. The International Airlines Group (IAG), is confirmed as the launch customer for the new service.  IAG has begun equipping its aircraft and aims to have 90% of its short haul fleet complete by early 2019.

GSAT-17 is the 21st satellite orbited by Arianespace for the Indian space agency ISRO. It will join ISRO’s fleet of 17 operational telecommunications satellites. It will provide both fixed (FSS) and mobile (MSS) satellite services, and also handle data transmission and search & rescue (SAR) services. Arianespace’s order book includes another ISRO satellite, GSAT-11.

The mission was the 80th successful Ariane 5 launch in a row, a string of successes that started in 2003. Over the last 14 years, the Ariane 5 launcher has orbited 160 satellites for both commercial and government customers.

Including this mission, Arianespace has now carried out seven launches over a period of just over five months in 2017, sending 10 satellites into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) and one into a non-GTO orbit, with a cumulated payload weight of nearly 45 metric tons. Arianespace plans five more launches in 2017: three by Ariane 5 and two by the Vega light launcher.

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