Eighty consecutive successes for rocket launch company Arianespace is a unique record, and the June 28th launch of two satellites helped cement that achievement with a flawless launch (Flight 238).
The two satellites included GSAT-17, a communications satellite for India, and a so-called condominium joint-venture satellite for the Arabsat-owned HellasSat-3 which shares a satellite with Inmarsat’s S-EAN payload.
The HellasSat/Inmarsat satellite was the first craft to be deployed, and then 11 minutes later the GSAT-17 was dispensed from the rocket’s cargo bay.
HellasSat will provide extra DTH, including HD and UHD channels, as well as communications capacity from its 93.5 degrees East orbital slot. Arianespace is due to launch HellasSat-4 next year.
Inmarsat will provide S-band mobile connectivity on the ground and for airline passengers. Inmarsat is specialised in mobile satellite communications, and the first customer for this airborne connectivity is the International Airlines Group (AIG), which has begun equipping its aircraft and aims to have 90 per cent of its short-haul fleet complete by early 2019. Inmarsat CEO Rupert Pearce told guests at the Kourou, French Guiana, launch site that Inmarsat had won 27 (out of 28) nations support for the ground segment for the S-band system.