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.