Late on Friday night, the first Ariane 5 flight of 2021 operated by Arianespace successfully placed two satellites in orbit after launching from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou with the support of teams from the French space agency CNES: Star One D2, built by Maxar Technologies for Brazilian operator Embratel, and EUTELSAT QUANTUM for Eutelsat, developed with Airbus Defence and Space and the European Space Agency (ESA) .
The relationship between Arianespace and both Embratel and Eutelsat goes back more than three decades and has strengthened over time. Since 1985, the year of its first mission for Embratel, Arianespace has launched the Brazilian operator’s entire fleet of 12 satellites. In addition, global operator Eutelsat has entrusted the launch of 36 satellites to Arianespace since 1983.
“With this new Ariane 5 success, the first in 2021, Arianespace is pleased to be continuing its service to two of its most loyal customers, operators Embratel and Eutelsat. This mission with two highly innovative satellites on board has reconfirmed how the competitiveness and reliability of our launch solutions serves the ambitions of our customers. We are committed to their total satisfaction.”Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace
Star One D2 is a high-capacity, multi-mission satellite with Ku-, Ka-, C- and X-band transponders, that will enable it to expand broadband coverage to new regions in Central and South America and add an updated X-band payload for government use over the Atlantic region.
The EUTELSAT QUANTUM satellite is the first universal satellite in the world that can be repeatedly adjusted to the customer’s requirements at any time. It is equipped with electronically steerable receiving antennae and operates in Ku-band with eight independent reconfigurable beams. This configuration allows the operator to reconfigure in-orbit the radio-frequency beams over the coverage zones, providing unprecedented flexibility in data, government and mobility services.
For this flight, the performance required of the Ariane 5 was 10,515 kg, including 9,651 kg for both payloads. Ariane 5 was also equipped with a cryogenic upper stage called ESC-D, whose tanks were extended for this mission, with an overall mass of the stage at liftoff of more than 19 metric tons.
“Ariane 5 blasting off from the Guiana Space Centre is a strong symbol at this time when Europe is resetting its ambitions for space, in particular with launchers. Congratulations to the teams at ArianeGroup and Arianespace and all our partners, who once again demonstrated their remarkable professionalism with a perfect launch campaign. Our solid expertise will also be a major factor in the success of Ariane 6, for which the first flight model is currently being integrated at our sites in France and Germany.”André-Hubert Roussel, CEO of ArianeGroup.
ArianeGroup is the lead contractor for the development and production of Ariane 5 and Ariane 6 launchers. The company coordinates an industrial network of more than 600 companies (including 350 SMEs). ArianeGroup oversees the entire Ariane 5 industrial supply chain, from performance optimisation and associated studies, to production and mission-specific data and software. This chain includes equipment and structures, engine manufacturing, integration of the various stages, and launcher integration in French Guiana. ArianeGroup delivers a flight-ready launcher on the launch pad to its subsidiary Arianespace, which operates the flight from lift-off, on behalf of its customers.