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Arianespace’s sixth successful launch this year also set a record in terms of weight lifted into orbit when it placed two satellites, owned by Eutelsat of Paris and ViaSat of California into a geostationary transfer orbit. The launch took place at 8.45pm local time in French Guiana on June 1st (01.45am June 2nd, Paris time). The net lift-off weight was a massive 9,969 kgs, a record.
Eutelsat 172B, is an electric orbit raising satellite, built by Airbus Space, is the first electric satellite to be orbited by Arianespace. The craft will take some months to reach its final 172 degrees East location and from where it will serve customers in the Asia-Pacific region including Alaska and Australia.
ViaSat-2 is to be placed at 70 degrees West and serving North and Central America, plus the Caribbean, northern South America, and aeronautical and maritime routes in the Atlantic Ocean between North America and Europe. ViaSat-2 was built by Boeing.
The next launch for Arianespace is scheduled for June 28th.
Eutelsat signed a fresh launch contract with Arianespace to place an upcoming satellite into orbit. The order means that Eutelsat is now committed to 3 launches with Arianespace, starting with Eutelsat 7C in 2018.