Ariane 5 successfully launches Intelsat 37e & BSAT-4a

Image courtesy of Arianespace.

After a scrubbed launch on 5 September, Arianespace has successfully placed two communications satellites, Intelsat 37e and BSAT-4a, into Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO).

The launch took place at the Guiana Space Center on 29 September, at approximately 21:56 UTC. Intelsat 37e was placed into orbit 29 min 50 s after launch, while BSAT-4a, built by Space Systems Loral (SSL) for Japanese satellite operator B-SAT, separated at 14 min 15s.

This is Arianespace’s fifth Ariane 5 launch this year, and its seventh this year excluding two Soyuz launches from French Guiana. Originally planned for September 5, this launch was scrubbed seconds before takeoff due to an electrical fault with a booster.

BSAT-4a, a broadcasting satellite that will be used for Direct-to-Home (DTH) television service in Japan, is the 9th B-Sat satellite to be launched by Arianespace. Based on the SSL 1300 platform, it is BSAT’s first satellite manufactured by SSL, its other three operational satellites having been built by Lockheed Martin. This is also BSAT’s heaviest satellite to date, weighing approximately 3.5 tonnes.

The other satellite launched today, Intelsat 37e, is the fifth of Intelsat EpicNG high throughput satellites and weighs approximately 6.7 tonnes. Built by Boeing based on its 702MP platform, Intelsat 37e will boost connectivity in the Americas, Africa and Europe and will replace Intelsat 903.

Arianespace’s next launch is scheduled for 7 November, with its Vega launching an undisclosed payload.

Watch the launch replay here:

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