Satellite Industry

Arianespace launches telecom satellites into orbit

A rocket that blasted off from French Guiana successfully placed two communications satellites into orbit Saturday, launch firm Arianespace said.

The Ariane 5 rocket took off at 2204 GMT from Kourou, the European Space Agency's space center in the South American territory, the company said in a statement.

Two satellites on board, belonging to the intergovernmental provider Intelsat and Japan's Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation, were later successfully placed into orbit, Arianespace said.  

The satellite will be used for direct-to-home services and will serve as a backup to another ultra-high definition satellite launched in 2017, called BSAT-4a.

A servicing vehicle that will dock with other satellites in orbit was also deployed, it added.

The launch, the first for Arianespace since activities at Kourou were halted in March due to the coronavirus, had originally been scheduled for July 28 but was delayed to allow for more "technical inspections".

Another delay followed due to "the unexpected behavior of one sensor" for a liquid hydrogen tank.

The launch was delayed for a third time due to unfavorable wind conditions.

Arianespace also launched the Galaxy 30 satellite for Intelsat as part of a larger bid to replace the aging North American Galaxy set of satellites for broadcast services.

Galaxy 30 and other satellites of its group will provide services such as ultra-high definition broadcasts, over-the-top service to allow consumers to directly stream from the satellite, and a range of other services for broadband, mobile and enterprise.