Nov 30, 2010
Arianespace orbited two communications satellites on Nov. 26 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
The two spacecraft were Intelsat 17, launched for international satellite operator Intelsat, and Hylas 1, for the European operator Avanti Communications. The flight marked the 54th Ariane 5 launch.
Intelsat 17 is being maneuvered to its parking orbit of 68.5 deg. East longitude as a replacement for the 16-year-old Intelsat 702.
Manufacturer Space Systems/Loral reports Intelsat 17’s solar arrays deployed nominally and its thrusters were fired twice to begin the maneuver into geosynchronous orbit.
The spacecraft will provide video and network services across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Intelsat 17 weighed 5,540 kg. (12,200 lb.) at launch and is fitted with a hybrid C- and Ku-band payload with a design life of 18 years. It will deliver a wide range of communication services for Europe, the Middle East, Russia and Asia.It also will enable Intelsat to expand its C-band coverage by providing video services to the Indian Ocean region.
Hylas 1 was built by an industrial consortium formed by EADS Astrium and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), based on the I-2K platform.
Hylas 1 was developed with the technical and financial contribution of the European Space Agency. It follows the “Generic Flexible Payload” concept, developed by Astrium for ESA’s Artes Program, which allows adapting the satellite’s frequency plan to the needs of the market, according to a statement.
Fitted with eight Ka-band and two Ku-band transponders, Hylas 1 will be positioned at 33.5 deg. West, and will be the first multi-beam European satellite to offer high-speed broadband services across Europe. The spacecraft weighed 2,570 kg. at launch, and has a design life exceeding 15 years.
ISRO and French National Space Agency CNES have been pursuing cooperative programs since 1993, under which joint satellite missions like Megha-Tropiques and Saral have been undertaken to study the atmosphere and the oceans.
- Neelam Mathews and Michael Mecham