Ariane 5 Launch Success and Record Performance

Ariane 5 delivered a record performance during Arianespace’s second heavy-lift flight of 2007, deploying two large telecommunications satellites into highly accurate geostationary transfer orbit today (May 4).

Launched from the ELA-3 complex at Europe’s Spaceport, the Ariane 5 orbited ASTRA 1L for SES ASTRA and Galaxy 17 for Intelsat ­ marking the 18th consecutive success for Arianespace’s workhorse launch vehicle.

“This comes less than two months after our previous success, which clearly demonstrates our consistent launch tempo,” said Arianespace Chairman & CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall. “We have launched six Ariane 5s and two Soyuz in less than twelve months, establishing Arianespace as the world reference for the launch services industry.”

The customers for today’s mission are key international satellite communications companies, and both are long-time users of Arianespace launch services. ASTRA 1L was the ninth satellite that Arianespace has launched for SES ASTRA and the 26th for the SES family, while Galaxy 17 was the 45th Intelsat satellite to use an Ariane launcher since 1983.

Today’s flight carried a total mass estimated at just over 9,400 kg. a­ record for a mission to standard geostationary transfer orbit.

For full details on this latest dual-payload success, see Arianespace’s Website for the in-depth mission update, the official press release, and a photo “walk-around” of the Ariane 5 launch vehicle.