“Once again, Ariane 5’s unmatched reliability and availability has set the highest standards in the satellite launch business.” – comments by Arianespace CEO Stephane Israel upon Arianespace’s 70th launch for the Ariane V, and its 56th successful launch in a row.
Yesterday’s launch of the Ariane V ECA took place at 4:54 pm local time from Kourou, French Guina, and carried two satellites to geostationary transfer orbit. The larger of the two spacecraft is Alphasat, a 6,650 kg joint venture between the European Space Agency and Inmarsat to demonstrate a new standard platform, Alphabus, built by Astrium and Thales Alenia. In addition to providing routine commercial services, Alphasat is also being used to validate new technologies.
The smaller satellite in the typical dual launch arrangement is INSAT-3D, a 2,200 kg weather satellite developed by ISRO, the Indian Space Research Organization.
The next Ariane V launch is scheduled for August 29th.
The comeback of the American launch industry begins one week later.