Ariane 5 keeps up the pace
Exactly one month after the successful launch of an Ariane 4 with an Intelsat telecommunications satellite onboard, an Ariane 5 soared into space early Saturday morning (CET) from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
The cargo on board this, the largest of the Ariane launchers, consisted of two payloads. The first, riding in the upper payload position and weighing 4100 kg at launch, was a Stellat 5 satellite. This will support two-way broadband Internet access across much of Europe and also offer a connectivity matrix between Europe, the east coasts of the Americas, Africa, the Middle East and parts of near Asia.
Riding in the lower position was N-STAR c. This Japanese spacecraft is expected to provide mobile telephony and data transfer services to Japan and the surrounding areas for the next 10 years.
Flight 153 marks the eighth successful launch of the year and the second Ariane 5 launch of 2002. The next mission, planned for 27 August, will see Ariane 5 carrying the first Meteosat Second Generation developed by ESA and Eumetsat, as well as Eutelsat’s Atlantic Bird-1 satellite.