Wednesday 24 August, Ariane 5 completed a flawless launch from Europe’s spaceport at the Guiana Space Centre, orbiting two telecommunications satellites, Intelsat-33e and Intelsat-36. The flight marked the European launcher’s 73rd straight success since 2003.
With a launch mass of 6,575 kilograms, Intelsat 33e (IS-33e) is a telecommunications satellite built by Boeing Space Systems for operator Intelsat. IS-33e is the second of Intelsat’s next-generation EpicNG satellites, following IS-29e, orbited in January. IS-33e will meet broadband demand for carrier-grade telecom services, enterprise networks and aeronautical connectivity, as well as certain media services. It will combine high-throughput C- and Ku-band wide and narrow spot beams across Europe, Central Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. It has a service lifetime of at least 15 years.
With a launch mass of 3,250 kilograms, Intelsat 36 is a telecommunications satellite built by Space Systems Loral, also for Intelsat. Intelsat 36 will enhance Intelsat’s media neighbourhoods serving the South African and Indian Ocean region, supporting Ku-band services for MultiChoice, the leading DTH platform in South Africa. The C-band payload will provide in-orbit resilience for the company’s leading video content distribution neighbourhood. The satellite has a service lifetime of at least 15 years.