October 24, 2021


On the night of Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 October, Ariane 5, operated by Arianespace, accomplished a flawless launch from the Guiana Space Centre (CSG), Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, orbiting two telecommunications satellites: SES-17, operated by SES, and Syracuse 4A for the Ministry of Armed Forces. The launch marked Ariane 5’s 111th flight, its second in 2021 and the fourth launch of the year from the CSG. It was also the 255th flight in the Ariane series.

With a launch mass of 6,411 kilograms, SES-17 is a telecommunications satellite designed to revolutionize aviation connectivity and accelerate digital inclusion initiatives. The power of its almost 200 spot beams can be dynamically adjusted as customers’ requirements evolve. It will offer excellent coverage over the Americas, the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean. The satellite has an expected lifetime of 15 years.

With a launch mass of 3,852 kilograms, Syracuse 4A is a military telecommunications satellite that will enable French armed forces to stay connected in the field. At sea, in the air or on land, the military need secure and powerful communications to exchange information with their command centre. Thanks to its state-of-the-art anti-jamming antenna and digital transparent processor, Syracuse 4A will be fully protected against extreme jamming methods. The satellite will serve France’s sovereignty as well as supporting NATO and European-led operations. It has an expected lifetime of 15 years.

After the launch, CNES Chairman & CEO Philippe Baptiste commented: “This latest successful launch for Ariane 5 from the Guiana Space Centre is a great source of pride and satisfaction for the teams involved at ESA, at Arianespace, across Europe’s space industry, at the French defence procurement agency DGA, at SES and Thales Alenia Space, and of course CNES’s teams at the Launch Vehicles Directorate and the Guiana Space Centre. I would like to thank all of them once again for showing their professionalism and expertise.”

Olivia Baumann     Attachée de Presse     Tél. 01 44 76 76 59    olivia.baumann@cnes.fr
Pascale Bresson     Attachée de Presse     Tél. 01 44 76 75 39    pascale.bresson@cnes.fr
Raphaël Sart    Responsable Presse    Tél. 01 44 76 74 51    raphael.sart@cnes.fr