June 2, 2017

79th straight success for Ariane 5

Thursday 1 June, Ariane 5 completed a flawless launch from Europe’s spaceport at the Guiana Space Centre (CSG), orbiting two new telecommunications satellites: ViaSat-2, built by Boeing for operator ViaSat Inc., and Eutelsat 172B, built by Airbus Defence & Space for operator Eutelsat. The flight marked the European launcher’s 79th straight success since 2003, the fifth launch of the year from the CSG and Ariane 5’s third in 2017.

With a launch mass of 6,418 kilograms, ViaSat-2 is a telecommunications satellite built by Boeing in El Segundo, California, for operator ViaSat Inc. ViaSat-2 will bring considerable improvements in terms of speed, lower costs and extended broadband coverage within its footprint, which includes North and Central America, plus the Caribbean, northern South America and aeronautical and maritime routes in the Atlantic Ocean between North America and Europe. It has an expected service lifetime of more than 14 years.

With a launch mass of 3,551 kilograms, Eutelsat 172B is the first all-electric telecommunications satellite, built by Airbus Defence & Space for operator Eutelsat. Its innovative technology is built around the new Eurostar E3000 EOR (Electric Orbit Raising) spacecraft bus. Eutelsat 172B will deliver increased satellite capacity for fast-growing applications that include in-flight and maritime connectivity, cellular backhaul, corporate networks, video distribution and government services, providing exceptional Asia-Pacific coverage over land and sea, from Alaska to Australia. It has an expected service lifetime of more than 15 years.

Commenting on this latest success for Europe’s space programme, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall said: “CNES is proud to have accomplished this new launch by Ariane 5, the leader in satellite launch services for nearly 15 years, in particular because this evening’s launch set a new performance record for total payload weight orbited, carrying 10,865 kilograms with a net mass at lift-off of 9,969 kilograms for the two satellites. This fifth launch of the year from the CSG shows once again that our launch base is the best in the world. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the teams to whom we owe this success, at ESA, at Arianespace, across Europe’s space industry, at ViaSat Inc. and Eutelsat and of course CNES’s teams at the Launch Vehicles Directorate and the Guiana Space Centre.”


Pascale Bresson      Tél. +33(0)1 44 76 75 39    pascale.bresson@cnes.fr
Fabienne Lissak        Tél. +33(0)1 44 76 78 37    fabienne.lissak@cnes.fr
Raphaël Sart             Tél. +33(0)1 44 76 74 51     raphael.sart@cnes.fr
Secrétariat presse   Tél. +33(0)1 44 76 76 88    cnes-presse@cnes.fr