Ariane 5 Launches EchoStar XVII and MSG-3 Satellites

It was the third picture perfect launch of the year for Arianespace as the Ariane 5 lofted the
EchoStar XVII telecommunications and MSG-3 weather observation satellites yesterday. The satellites were deployed into geostationary transfer orbit during the 34-minute flight.

EchoStar XVII, a telecommunications satellite is based on Space Systems/Loral's 1300-series platform and operates in the Ka-band. It will be operated by Hughes Network Systems from an orbital position of 107.1° West delivering broadband services to its customers across North America.

MSG-3 was the ninth Meteosat-series weather satellites and is a collaboration involving the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and the European Space Agency (ESA). MSG-3 will provide detailed imagery of Europe, the North Atlantic and Africa for use by meteorologists and national weather forecasters. MSG-3 was produced in an industry consortium led by Thales Alenia Space.

"By orbiting these two satellites, we have once again demonstrated the flexibility of Ariane 5 - which was capable of simultaneously launching one of the largest telecommunications satellites ever built for an American private operator, along with one of the most capable meteorological satellites developed for a European government organization," said Arianespace Chairman & CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall.

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