The Ariane 5 rocket, operated by Arianespace, has carried its heaviest telecommunications payload ever to deliver the ViaSat-2 and Eutelsat-172B satellites into their planned orbits.
Liftoff came at 23:45 GMT (20:45 local time, 01:45 CEST on 2 June) last night from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on a mission lasting about 41 minutes.
ViaSat-2, with a launch mass of 6418 kg, was the first to be released after about 29 minutes. The 3551 kg Eutelsat-172B was released 12 minutes later.
ViaSat-2, owned and operated by ViaSat, will provide extended broadband coverage to North and Central America, the Caribbean, northern South America, and the aeronautical and maritime routes in the Atlantic Ocean between North America and Europe. The satellite has a design life of more than 14 years.
Eutelsat-172B, an all-electric satellite built in Europe for Eutelsat, will provide telecommunications and broadcasting services as well as inflight broadband and maritime connectivity to the Asia–Pacific region. The satellite has a design life of more than 15 years.
The payload mass for this launch was 10 865 kg. The satellites totalled about 9969 kg, with payload adapters and carrying structures making up the rest.
Flight VA237 was the 93rd Ariane 5 mission.