Ariane 5 completes 102nd successful launch GSAT-11 and GEO-KOMPSAT-2A in orbit

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Tuesday 4 December, Ariane 5 completed a flawless launch from Europe’s spaceport at the Guiana Space Centre (CSG), placing the GSAT-11 satellite for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and GEO-KOMPSAT-2A for the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) into geostationary orbit. The launch marked Ariane 5’s 102nd flight, its sixth in 2018 and the tenth of the year from the CSG.

With a launch mass of 5 854 kilograms, GSAT-11 is an operational telecommunications satellite designed and built by ISRO. The largest satellite ever built by India’s space agency, GSAT-11 will enable ISRO to develop its space infrastructure and bridge the digital divide in India. Offering multi-spot-beam coverage over the Indian mainland and nearby islands, it will bring significant advantages to users over existing INSAT/GSAT satellite systems. The satellite has an expected lifetime of more than 15 years.

With a launch mass of 3 507 kilograms, GEO-KOMPSAT-2A is part of the national programme developed and built by KARI for the Korean government. This programme aims to design and operate two civil geostationary satellites, GEO-KOMPSAT-2A and -2B. GEO-KOMPSAT-2A is designed for meteorological and space weather monitoring missions, while GEO-KOMPSAT-2B will conduct Earth environmental monitoring and ocean-monitoring missions. GEO-KOMPSAT-2A’s orbital position will enable it to cover the Asia-Pacific region. It has an expected lifetime of more than 10 years.

Hailing this latest success, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall said: “This 102nd successful flight brilliantly accomplished by Ariane 5 confirms its quality and reliability as the leading launcher of satellites for almost 15 years now and demonstrates once again the excellence of the Guiana Space Centre. I would like to congratulate and thank all of the teams to whom we owe this success for their professionalism and expertise, at ESA, Arianespace, ISRO, KARI and of course at CNES’s Launch Vehicles Directorate and at the Guiana Space Centre.