Ariane lofts EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1 and GSAT-7
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 a daylight 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 passengers 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.
India’s national Indian Space Research Organisation 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.
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.
“Es’hail 1 is the first step in our strategy to enhance the availability and quality of communication services in the region,” said Dr. Hessa Al-Jaber, Qatar’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology. “I’m pleased that this vision has become a reality.”
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.
To date, Arianespace has lofted 20 payloads in 2013 on seven missions across its entire family. Ariane 5 has carried seven spacecraft into orbit on its four missions so far this year, with a combined total payload lift performance of more than 50,000 kg.
Arianespace’s next launch – Soyuz Flight VS06 – will orbit the second batch of four O3b Networks’ spacecraft during late September, following the initial four lofted by Soyuz in June. Soyuz Flight VS07, the medium-lift vehicle’s subsequent mission from French Guiana, is to launch Europe’s Gaia “star-mapper” spacecraft in late November.