SEOUL, South Korea — A pair of satellites from Malaysia and India are slated to launch in late June on the Ariane 5 rocket’s first flight of the year.
Arianespace announced the June 22 launch date this week. Liftoff from Europe’s Guiana Space Center spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, is targeted for an hour-and-forty-minute window that opens at 5:03 p.m. Eastern.
Aboard the rocket will be Malaysian satellite operator Measat’s Measat-3d and state-funded NewSpace India Limited’s GSAT-24. Both are communications satellites bound for geostationary orbit.
Measat-3d, built by Airbus Defence and Space, will co-locate with Measat-3a and Measat-3b at the 91.5 degrees East orbital slot to provide satellite broadband to areas with limited or no terrestrial network throughout Malaysia. Measat-3 will also provide redundancy and additional capacity for video distribution in the Asia-Pacific region.
The multipurpose satellite is equipped with C- and Ku-band payloads for direct-to-home television broadcasting and other telecom services, and a high-throughput Ka-band payload for internet connectivity. Measat-3d will also carry an L-band navigation payload for South Korean satellite operator KT SAT as part of the Korea Augmentation Satellite System effort to boost GPS accuracy in the region.
GSAT-24 is a Ku-band communications satellite built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), ISRO’s commercial arm. It will provide high-quality television, telecommunications and broadcasting services over India.
While the satellite’s development was fully funded by NSIL, its capacity will be leased to Tata Sky, an Indian direct broadcast satellite service provider, in the first case of what NSIL called “demand-driven communications satellite mission” in which NSIL is mandated to build, launch, own and operate a satellite to provide its services to committed customers. This mission meant to promote India’s domestic space industry is part of the country’s space reform announced in June 2020.