On Thursday, February 7, 2013, Arianespace successfully carried out the 54th Ariane 5 launch in a row, orbiting two telecommunications satellites: Amazonas-3 for Spanish operator Hispasat, and Azerspace/Africasat-1a for the Azerbaijani operator Azercosmos JSC and the Azerbaijan Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies.
Today's successful mission, the 54th in a row for the European launcher, once again proves the reliability and availability of the Ariane 5 launch system. It also confirms that Arianespace continues to set the standard for independent access to space for all operators, including national and international space agencies, private industry and governments.
The 68th launch of Ariane 5 set a new record for weight injected into geostationary transfer orbit: the launcher on this mission carried a total payload of 10,317 kg, including 9,503 kg for the two satellites, Amazonas-3 and Azerspace/Africasat-1a.
This was the first Ariane 5 launch in 2013. Its success once again illustrated the operational capability of this launcher, the only one now on the market capable of simultaneously launching two payloads.
Launching satellites for a long-standing customer and a new operator
Arianespace provides the launch services most clearly matches the requirements of all operators.
Amazonas-3 is the seventh Spanish satellite launched by Arianespace. The company first launched the Hispasat 1A and 1B satellites in 1992 and 1993, respectively, followed in 2005 and 2006 by the XTAR-Eur and Spainsat satellites for Hispasat and its subsidiary Hisdesat. Amazonas-2 was launched in 2009, followed by Hispasat 1E in 2010.
The Azerspace/Africasat-1a satellite is the first national satellite to be launched by Arianespace for the Azerbaijan Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies.
Arianespace has already launched the first satellites for 31 operators to date.
Amazonas-3 - Azerspace/Africasat-1a mission at a glance
The mission was carried out by an Ariane 5 ECA launcher from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Liftoff was on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 6:36 pm local time in Kourou (4:36 pm in Washington, D.C., 21:36 UT, 10:36 pm in Paris, and 1:36 am on Friday, February 8 in Baku).
Amazonas-3 was built by Space Systems/Loral using the SSL 1300 platform and weighed 6,265 kg at launch. It has 33 Ku-band transponders, 19 C-band transponders, and 9 Ka-band spot beams. This high-power satellite provides a wide range of telecommunications and broadband connectivity services in Europe, the Americas and North Africa. It offers a design life of 15 years. Amazonas-3 is the 43rd satellite built by Space Systems/Loral to be launched by Arianespace.
The Azerspace/Africasat-1a satellite was built by Orbital Sciences Corporation using a Star-2 platform. Weighing 3,000 kg at launch, the satellite is equipped with 24 C-band transponders and 12 Ku-band transponders. It will provide a wide range of telecommunications services for Azerbaijan, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Azerspace/Africasat-1a is the 24th satellite built by Orbital Sciences Corporation to be launched by Arianespace.