Eutelsat, DirecTV launch success
June 21, 2019
By Chris Forrester
An Arianespace rocket successfully placed two satellites into their geostationary transfer orbits on June 20th in the late afternoon from the Kourou launch site in French Guiana.
DirecTV’s T-16 craft was the first passenger to be released after launch and followed by Eutelsat’s 7C just 28 minutes later. The DirecTV satellite is likely to be the last-ever to be launched for the pay-TV broadcaster, which earlier this year saw its AT&T master state that the company had no plans to launch further satellites.
DirecTV T-16 was built by Airbus, and has a lifetime of at least 15 years and Eutelsat 7C was a Maxar-built satellite and has a similar life-span. Eutelsat 7C is an all-electric satellite and will take about four months to reach its target orbital slot.
This launch was the fifth for Arianespace this year and the second which used the Ariane 5 rocket.
DirecTV has yet to be specify where its craft will be placed. Eutelsat 7C will be co-located with its 7B satellite at 7 degrees East, with the 7A craft then expected to relocate to another orbital position.