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Ariane 5 completes 100th launch
Ariane 5 lifts off on 100th mission. © Arianespace

Ariane 5 completes 100th launch

Arianespace successfully launched two communications satellites on 25th September in its sixth mission of the year and the 100th launch of Ariane 5.

Arianespace has successfully launched two communications satellites: Horizons 3e for Intelsat and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, and Azerspace-2/Intelsat 38 for Azercosmos and Intelsat. The launch took place on Tuesday, 25thSeptember at 19:38 pm (local time) from the Guiana Space Center (CSG), Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana (South America).

This was Arianespace’s sixth mission of the year, as well as the 100th mission by the Ariane 5 heavy launcher. In 22 years of operations, Ariane 5 has orbited a total of 207 satellites, representing a combined weight of more than 790 metric tons. Coincidentally, the launch also marked the 300th mission by the Arianespace family of launchers.

In its 22-year career, Ariane 5 has been produced in five different versions: Ariane 5 G, G+, GS, ES and ECA.

The Ariane 5 ES has been launched eight times since 2008, while the Ariane 5 ECA has carried out 62 launches into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) since 2002. It has increased payload capacity by 15% since entering service and set a record for net payload weight into GTO on June 1, 2017, at 9,969kg.

Next up: on 19th October, Ariane 5 will boost the BepiColombo spacecraft towards Mercury, on a mission for the European Space Agency (ESA) in partnership with Japanese space agency JAXA.

The last batch of Ariane 5 rockets will be operated concurrently with Ariane 6 starting in 2020, before Ariane 6 reaches full operational capacity, which is slated for 2023.

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