Arianespace used a smaller Soyuz rocket to launch Hispasat 36W-1 into its geostationary transfer orbit on January 27th. It was the first launch of the year for Arianespace, and the first-ever such launch from French Guiana to a transfer orbit using the Soyuz rocket.
Hispasat 36W-1 is a smaller geostationary satellite, and built by OHB Systems of Bremen, Germany. It was helped with development cash from the European Space Agency and Germany’s space agency.
However, the satellite’s concept and design were beset with problems and delivery was some four years later than anticipated. OHB Systems is looking to trim around four years from the seven years of development and build and to bring construction down to a more normal three years.
The new satellite carries 20 Ku-band transponders and will supply bandwidth over Europe, the Canary Island and South America.