Arianespace sets launch dates for delayed Ariane 5 and Soyuz missions

by

WASHINGTON — European launch provider Arianespace has established new dates in May and June for a Soyuz and an Ariane 5 launch that were delayed by four weeks of civil unrest in French Guiana.

The Evry, France-based company said April 26 that the Soyuz launch of SES-15, previously planned for the first week of April, will commence on May 18. The Ariane 5 dual launch of ViaSat’s next broadband satellite ViaSat-2 and Eutelsat’s next Asia-Pacific telecom satellite Eutelsat-172b, once planned for April 25, is now slated for June 1.

Protests in French Guiana, home of Europe’s Guiana Space Center, pushed back these two missions and the March 21 Ariane 5 dual launch of Brazil’s SGDC and KTSat’s Koreasat-7 satellite. Arianespace reset that mission to May 4.

Arianespace says the schedule for the other six missions in its 2017 launch queue weren’t impacted by the civil unrest that blocked access to the spaceport for part of March and most of April. By using previously scheduled downtime planned for May and June, the company says it will still complete all 12 missions planned for this year.

SES-15 is an all-electric satellite from manufacturer Boeing equipped with Ku-band wide beams and high throughput Ka-band spot beams, as well as a hosted payload for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. The hosted payload, called the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), is designed to increase the accuracy of GPS signals for aircraft.

ViaSat-2, also from Boeing, is an all Ka-band satellite with more than 300 Gbps of total network capacity, according to Carlsbad, California-based ViaSat, and seven times the coverage of ViaSat-1.

Eutelsat-172b, an all-electric satellite from Airbus Defence and Space, carries a C-band payload, a traditional Ku-band payload and a high throughput Ku-band payload, the latter of which Panasonic Avionics plans to use for in-flight connectivity. Paris, France-based Eutelsat ordered the satellite as an early successor to Eutelsat-172a, which will be relocated after Eutelsat-172b completes its estimated four month journey to orbit.