Arianespace on Aug. 15 launched two communications satellites and a satellite servicer on an Ariane 5 rocket, completing the company’s first launch since the reopening of the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.
Arianespace is poised to launch up to 22 missions this year, a number that would nearly double the company’s record.
Orders for geostationary satellites are beginning to rebound in a market is far more varied than in the past.
Satellite broadband company Ovzon said Aug. 24 that a better offer from Arianespace for a 2021 launch aboard an Ariane 5 prompted it exit an agreement to launch its first fully owned satellite on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy.
The Ariane 5 took off at 3:30 p.m. Eastern from Europe’s Guiana Space Center in South America, carrying the Intelsat-39 communications satellite and the EDRS-C laser relay satellite to geostationary transfer orbits.
European launch provider Arianespace completed the first Ariane 5 mission of the year Feb. 5, lofting two telecom satellites into geostationary transfer orbits.
The Ariane 5 launch will carry two telecom satellites: Arabsat’s SaudiGEOSat-1/Hellas Sat 4, and the Indian space agency ISRO’s GSAT-31.
European launch provider Arianespace is planning to conduct a record number of Vega launches this year, and, if OneWeb is ready, a return to launching from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Arianespace completed its final Ariane 5 launch of 2018 and penultimate overall mission for the year on Dec. 4, carrying a satellite for India and another for South Korea to geostationary transfer orbit.
European launch provider Arianespace completed the 100th launch of a heavy-lift Ariane 5 rocket Sept. 25, carrying two satellites co-owned between Intelsat and partner satellite operators.
ESA is pushing European industry to continue innovating and finding efficiencies even after Vega C’s introduction in 2019 and Ariane 6’s debut in 2020.