Double success for Arianespace
June 23, 2022
By Chris Forrester
An Ariane 5 rocket successfully orbited two satellites at 18.50pm local time on June 22nd from the French Guiana spaceport.
MEASAT-3d for the Malaysian operator and GSAT-24 for India’s Space Research Organisation were the rocket’s two passengers in what was the first Ariane launch this year.
“Mission VA257 will improve broadband coverage in the Asia-Pacific region and represents another commercial success for Ariane 5 in the Asia-Pacific market,” stated Arianespace.
“With the orbiting of both MEASAT-3d, the fourth satellite that we’ve launched for the benefit of Malaysia, and GSAT-24, the 25th Indian satellite we’ve delivered for them, we are affirming our long term partnership with these two great actors,” declared Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace.
MEASAT-3d, to be co-located with MEASAT-3a and MEASAT-3b in the 91.5°E orbital slot, is a multi-mission telecommunications satellite built by Airbus Defence and Space. It will significantly enhance broadband speeds of up to 100 Mb/s per user in areas with limited or no terrestrial network throughout Malaysia, while continuing to provide redundancy and additional capacity for video distribution in HD, 4K, and ultimately 8K in the Asia-Pacific region.
GSAT-24 is a Ku-band 4-ton class communications satellite built by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) that will provide high-quality television, telecommunications and broadcasting services across India. It will be the first “Demand Driven” communications satellite mission undertaken by NSIL.
While this launch is another success for Arianespace, it is tough to compare and contrast this, its first launch of the year, when only last weekend its rival SpaceX successfully launched 3 not dissimilar satellites over a two-day period.
Arianespace now has just four of its Ariane-5 rockets left in its inventory. Its follow-on rocket, Ariane-6, is being developed but is now known to be extremely late and its debut flight is not expected much before the end of 2023.