On the night of Friday 30 to Saturday 31 July, Ariane 5, operated by Arianespace, completed a flawless launch from Europe’s spaceport at the Guiana Space Centre (CSG), orbiting Star One D2 for Maxar (SSL) for Star One S.A., a subsidiary of Embratel, and EUTELSAT QUANTUM for Eutelsat. The launch marked Ariane 5’s 110th flight, its first mission in 2021 and the second this year from the CSG. It was also the 254th flight in the Ariane series.
With a launch mass of 6,190 kilograms, Star One D2 is a high-capacity, multi-mission satellite with Ku-, Ka-, C- and X-band transponders that will enable it to expand broadband coverage to new regions in Central and South America, deliver Internet access to underserved populations and add an updated X-band payload for government use over the Atlantic region. Star One D2 will improve access to high-quality services for the parabolic fleet in Brazil, pay TV, cellphone backhaul, data, video and Internet for corporate customers and government agencies. Built by Maxar (SSL), its expected lifetime is 15 years.
With a launch mass of 3,461 kilograms, EUTELSAT QUANTUM will be the first universal satellite able to adjust to evolving business requirement thanks to its reconfigurable software-based design. It features an electronically steerable receiving antenna and operates in Ku-band with eight independent reconfigurable beams. This allows the operator to reconfigure the radio-frequency beams in orbit over coverage zones, affording unprecedented flexibility in data, government and mobility services. This new antenna technology complements new-generation, all-digital payloads enabling the operator to shape its spacecraft’s coverage, frequencies and power. The satellite was developed under a public-private partnership between the European Space Agency (ESA), operator Eutelsat and Airbus Defence & Space. It has an expected lifetime of 15 years.
Commenting on the launch, CNES Chairman & CEO Philippe Baptiste said: “Yet another success for Ariane 5! 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 space industry, at Maxar for Star One, Eutelsat, Airbus Defence & Space and of course at CNES’s Launch Vehicles Directorate and the Guiana Space Centre.”