After a 48-hour delay caused by local technicians going on strike, the Arianespace mission to launch Arabsat 5C and SES-2 was successfully carried out late on the night of September 21/22.
The flight was the 5th launch this year for the giant Ariane 5 rocket, and its two passengers were successfully placed into a geostationary transfer orbit following lift-off at 11.38pm (Paris time).
Arabsat 5C was built by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space for the satcom operator Arabsat, based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Astrium supplied the Eurostar E3000 platform and handled satellite integration, while Thales Alenia Space supplied the payload. Fitted with 26 C-band transponders and 10 Ka-band spotbeams, Arabsat 5C will deliver telecommunications services, as well as broadcasting TV programming to the Middle East and North Africa. Positioned at 20 degrees east, it offers a design life exceeding 15 years.
SES-2 was built by Orbital Sciences Corporation using a Star 2.4 platform. It is fitted with 24 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders, and offers a design life of 15 years. Positioned at 87 degrees west, SES-2 will broadcast programming for the world’s leading TV stations through one of the largest distribution networks in the market. It will also provide VSAT services for professional customers and government agencies in North America and the Caribbean.