Ariane 5 launches SKY Brasil-1 and Telkom-3S satellites

by Chris Bergin

Arianespace conducted its first Ariane 5 launch of the year on Tuesday. The workhorse lofted the SKY Brasil-1 and Telkom-3S satellites from European Spaceport in Kourou, on a ride to a geostationary transfer orbit. The launch occurred at the opening of the launch window at 21:39 UTC.

Ariane 5 Launch:

This was the first Ariane 5 launch of the year, following on for seven successful launches of the rocket during 2016.

Arianespace has already seen in the new year, with the launch of its Soyuz ST-B rocket, which successfully lofted the Hispasat 36W-1 at the end of January.

Tuesday’s launch was designated Flight VA235 in Arianespace’s launcher family numbering system. It was one of up to 12 missions in total that are planned this year with Arianespace’s heavy-lift Ariane 5, medium-lift Soyuz and lightweight Vega.

Arianespace will soon have the Ariane 6 added to its rocket team, with more baseline information recently released via the publication of the user manual.

The document pays tribute to the Ariane family, which began with the Ariane 1 rocket which conducted its maiden launch in 1979.

“With the Ariane family, Arianespace experience is as of beginning 2016, of more than 380 launch contracts, 227 flights, 350 satellites launched (thanks to the shared launch capability), 53 auxiliary payloads launched, over a period of 36 years.”

For this latest mission, Ariane 5’s overall payload lift performance for the flight was more than 10.4 metric tons. Its two passengers were deployed into geostationary transfer orbit during a profile lasting just under 40 minutes.

Released first during Flight VA235 was SKY Brasil-1, with Telkom 3S following 12 minutes later.

Due to this deployment schedule, SKY Brasil-1 was located in the launcher’s upper payload position.

Developed for utilization by AT&T/DIRECTV via its DIRECTV Latin America subsidiary, the 6,000-kg.-class satellite is to expand direct-to-home high-definition programming for Brazil. It was produced by Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse, France, using the spacecraft manufacturer’s Eurostar E3000 platform.

SKY Brasil-1 (also known as SKYB-1) was the 10th satellite launched by Arianespace for the operator AT&T/DIRECTV. The previous launch was on May 27, 2015, lofting SKY México-1 and DIRECTV 15 on the same Ariane 5.

“This will be one of two satellites that will support our SKY Brasil business providing us with the capacity to deliver superior products and services to our growing customer base in Brazil,” noted Bruce Churchill, president of DIRECTV Latin America ahead of the launch. “We’re looking forward to another successful Arianespace launch.”

It was the 116th spacecraft from this manufacturer and its predecessors to be launched by Arianespace, with the order book including 17 more Airbus Defence and Space satellites to be launched.

Riding in the lower payload slot, Telkom 3S was deployed at just under 40 minutes after Ariane 5’s liftoff. This 3,550-kg. relay platform was designed for the delivery of high-definition television services, as well as mobile communications and Internet applications for Telkom Indonesia – providing coverage over Indonesia and Southeast Asia.

It was orbited in the framework of a turnkey contract with Thales Alenia Space, which produced it at Toulouse and Cannes, France, based on the Spacebus 4000B2 platform.

“It’s very fulfilling to be able to support our customer’s business development. The deployment of Telkom-3S will enhance PT Telkom’s broadcast capacity and provide valuable services for enterprises, IP backbones and mobile network backhauling,” added said Jean-Loïc Galle, President and CEO of Thales Alenia Space. “Telkom-3S (was) the 80th Spacebus satellite built by Thales Alenia Space.”

The spacecraft is outfitted with 24 C-band transponders, eight extended C-band transponders and 10 Ku-band transponders.

After Telkom 1 and Telkom 2 respectively launched in 1999 and 2005, Telkom 3S will be the third satellite entrusted to Arianespace by Telkom Indonesia, this time within the scope of a turnkey contract with Thales Alenia Space.

Telkom Indonesia is an Indonesian state-owned company that supplies telecommunications, information, media and entertainment services (TIMES) to millions of customers throughout the Indonesian archipelago.

Telkom 3S will provide high-definition television services (HDTV), as well as mobile communications and internet applications. Positioned at 118° East, Telkom 3S will provide C-band coverage of Indonesia and Southeast Asia, while extended C-band beams will cover Indonesia and part of Malaysia.

It also is fitted with Ku-band transponders dedicated to national coverage.

Telkom 3S was the 146th satellite built by Thales Alenia Space and its predecessors to be launched by Arianespace. The Arianespace order book includes nine more Thales Alenia Space satellites to be launched.

(Images via Arianespace).

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