January 17, 2020


Thursday 16 January, Ariane 5 completed a flawless launch from the Guiana Space Centre (CSG), Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, orbiting two telecommunications satellites: EUTELSAT KONNECT, built by prime contractor Thales Alenia Space for Eutelsat, and GSAT-30, designed and built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The launch was Ariane 5’s 107th flight, its first mission in 2020 and the first of the year from the CSG. It was also the 251st flight in the Ariane series.

With a launch mass of 3,619 kilograms, EUTELSAT KONNECT is a new all-electric satellite operating in Ka-band and the first to use Thales Alenia Space’s Spacebus NEO platform, developed under the Neosat project set up in partnership by ESA and CNES. EUTELSAT KONNECT will offer a total bandwidth of 75 Gbps and by next autumn will enable the operator to offer Internet services for companies and individuals alike at up to 100 Mbps. The satellite is set to play a key role bridging the digital divide by bringing broadband Internet to 40 countries in Africa and 15 countries across Western Europe. In Africa, EUTELSAT KONNECT will also, through public Wi-Fi terminals, offer shared Internet access purchasable in the form of coupons via mobile phone. The satellite has an expected lifetime of 15 years.

With a launch mass of 3,357 kilograms, GSAT-30 will provide high-quality television, telecommunications and broadcasting services over the Indian mainland and islands. GSAT-30 is configured around ISRO’s enhanced I-3K spacecraft bus to provide telecommunications services from geostationary orbit in C-band and Ku-band. ISRO is thus pursuing the use of space to help bridge the digital divide in the Indian subcontinent as part of its ambitious space programme, leveraging all types of space applications including navigation, Earth observation, telecommunications and broadcasts of educational programmes, while contributing to science research and planetary exploration. The satellite has an expected lifetime of 15 years.

On the occasion of the launch, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall said: “With this latest success, Ariane 5 has completed its 107th launch with flying colours, confirming yet again its availability and reliability. I congratulate and thank all of the teams to whom we owe this success for their professionalism and expertise, at ESA, Arianespace, across the European launcher industry, at EUTELSAT and ISRO, and of course at CNES’s Launch Vehicles Directorate and the Guiana Space Centre.”

Pascale Bresson    Press Officer    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39    pascale.bresson@cnes.fr
Raphaël Sart    Press Officer    Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 74 51    raphael.sart@cnes.fr