This evening an Ariane 5 delivered two telecom satellites into their planned orbits after lifting off from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
The launch of flight VA226 occurred on 30 September at 20:30 GMT (22:30 CEST, 17:30 local time).
Sky Muster, with a mass of 6440 kg and mounted in the upper position atop Ariane’s Sylda dual-payload carrier inside the fairing, was the first to be released about 28 minutes into the mission.
Following a series of burns controlled by Ariane’s computer, the Sylda structure encasing the 2977 kg Arsat-2 was then jettisoned. Arsat-2 was released into its own transfer orbit about four minutes after the first satellite.
Sky Muster, owned and operated by Australia’s National Broadband Network, will operate from 135–150°E in geostationary orbit. It will provide fast broadband services to more than 200 000 Australians, including those living in rural and remote areas across the country, along with the Norfolk, Christmas, Macquarie and Cocos islands. The satellite has a design life of about 15 years.
Arsat-2, owned and operated by Argentina’s Arsat, will be positioned at 81°W in geostationary orbit to provide direct-to-home television, Internet access services, data transmission and Internet telephony. It has a design life of 15 years.
The payload mass for this launch was 10 196 kg. The satellites totalled about 9417 kg, with payload adapters and carrying structures making up the rest.
Flight VA226 was the 82nd Ariane 5 mission.