Today marked another mission accomplished for Arianespace's heavy-lift workhorse as it deployed the EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail 1 and GSAT-7 spacecraft from the Spaceport in French Guiana – on what is the 57th consecutive success for Ariane 5.
Following an impressive liftoff from the ELA-3 launch zone at 5:30 p.m. local time, both satellites were deployed into geostationary transfer orbit, with EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail 1 released nearly 28 minutes after liftoff, and GSAT-7 separating approximately six minutes later to complete the flight sequence.
Ariane 5 delivered a total liftoff performance of 9,790 kg., including its two payloads and hardware for the launcher's dual-payload deployment system. Today's mission represents the 215th launch of an Ariane-series vehicle, as well as the 71st liftoff for Ariane 5.
Arianespace is committed to its customers
Ariane Flight VA215 underscored the continued successful relationship with Arianespace and two long-standing partners, while also marking the start-up with another.
India's national Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) space agency, which developed GSAT-7, has a long history of launching payloads with Arianespace – dating back to the third mission of an Ariane-series vehicle in 1981. Arianespace now has launched 17 satellites for ISRO, including INSAT-3D, which was a co-passenger on last month's Ariane Flight VA214.
For European telecommunications operator Eutelsat Communications, this launch continues a more than 30-year relationship with Arianespace, as EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail is the 27th satellite launched for this longtime customer.
A historic first for Qatar
In addition, EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail 1 – a ground-breaking partnership between Eutelsat and the Doha-based Es'hailSat, the Qatar Satellite Company – marked a historic moment for the Qatari operator: the first satellite of its planned global fleet.
Operating from a position of 25.5 deg. East, EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail 1, will provide coverage of the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia for both Eutelsat and Es'hailSat, delivering Ku-band television broadcasting, telecommunications and government services for this area, while its Ka-band capability will open new business opportunities for the two operators.
Built by Space Systems/Loral (SSL), EUTELSAT 25B/Es'hail had a liftoff mass of approximately 6,300 kg., located in the upper position of Ariane 5's payload "stack." It is based on the SSL 1300 bus with a design life of 15 years or more.
Riding as the lower passenger with a liftoff mass of 2,650 kg., GSAT-7 was deployed 34 minutes after liftoff to complete Ariane 5's mission.
The spacecraft developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation is based on India's I-2K spacecraft bus and will provide relay capacity in UHF, S-band, C-band and Ku-band from 74 deg. East longitude for the Indian subcontinent, during its design life of seven years.
Continuing the commercial pace
To date, Arianespace has lofted 20 payloads in 2013 on seven missions across its entire family. Ariane 5 has carried seven satellites into orbit on its four missions this year, with a combined total liftoff performance of more than 50,000 kg.
The medium-lift Soyuz and lightweight Vega have been active as well, with one mission each from the Spaceport, in addition to a Soyuz flight from the Baikonur Cosmodrome conducted by Arianespace's Starsem affiliate.
Arianespace's next launch is targeted for this fall, a Soyuz flight to orbit the second batch of four O3b Networks' spacecraft, following the initial four that Arianespace lofted on Soyuz flight VS05 in late June.