Ariane 5 completes seven launches in 2012
This evening, an Ariane 5 launcher lifted off from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on its mission to place two telecom satellites, Skynet-5D and Mexsat Bicentenario, into their planned transfer orbits.
Liftoff of flight VA211, the 67th Ariane 5 mission, came at 21:49 GMT (22:49 CET; 18:49 French Guiana). The target injection orbit had a perigee altitude of 249.7 km, an apogee altitude at injection of 35 977 km and an inclination of 2°.
Skynet-5D and Mexsat Bicentenario were accurately injected into their orbits at 24 and 36 minutes after launch, respectively.
Skynet-5D will be positioned in geostationary above the equator at 25°E. Built by Astrium satellites for the operator Astrium Services, it provides secure telecommunications services to the British Ministry of Defence, NATO and countries that already use the Skynet family of military communications satellites.
Mexsat Bicentenario is the fifth Mexican satellite to be launched by Ariane. It will provide telecommunications services for Mexico and neighbouring countries.
The payload mass for this launch was 8637 kg, including the mass of auxiliary payload adaptors.
Flight VA211 was Ariane 5’s 53rd successful launch in a row since December 2002.