After a year-long interval, Ariane 5, Europe’s Heavy-lift Rocket launched satellites to orbit. The Rocket lifted off from Kourou, French Guiana on 30th July 2021, at 5 p.m EDT (2100 GMT, 6 p.m local time in Kourou).
The spacecraft would be deployed within 40 minutes after takeoff. This launch would be the first action for an Ariane 5 since August 2020. NASA seemed to have been conscious about Ariane 5 spaceflight. Thomas Zurbuchen, head of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, traveled to Kourou to visit the launch.
Ariane 5 Satellite Launch Mission
Ariane 5 has launched a communication satellite to orbit. They introduced an active Antenna which is the first ever communication satellites technology in the Europe’s commercial telecommunication industry. The new antenna technology is concerned with a new generation fully digital payloads. Through this technology, the operator could be able to change the coverage, frequencies, and power of its spacecraft.
According to the statement of Arianespace Officials, the Star One D2 and Eutelsat Quantum tip the scales at 23,182 pounds (10,515 kilograms). The satellites settled into geostationary orbit which is about 22,200 miles (35,700 kilometers) above Earth.
The satellites’ orbital period will match the planet’s rotational period. Other communications satellites lead under this orbit. This would allow properly positioned ground-based antennas to continue constant communication with them.
Ariane 5’s Next Step
The Ariane 5 will take another launch in the next few months. The rocket will lift off again in September. A mission to launch another batch of communications satellites to orbit in November and December. This will cost about $9.8 billion.
According to the statement of Daniel Neuenschwander, director of space transportation, ESA, Arianespace has already signed the contracts for the last eight Ariane 5 launches. These eight launches are the next steps after it’s launch in August 2020. They will complete these missions before the transition to the new Ariane 6 launcher.
About the Communication Satellites
The two Satellites used by Ariane 5 were:
1: Star One D2
2: Eutelsat Quantum
Star One D2 belongs to Brazilian Telecom company While Eutelsat Quantum was developed by French company Eutelsat, Airbus Defence and Space, and the European Space Agency.
Star One D2 is the third satellite of the Maxar company. It provides high-quality entertainment and information services for consumers and businesses in Latin America via multiple payloads. Its services are expanded to new regions in Central and South America.
Maxar built this satellite for Embratel, aimed for internet access to underserved populations, and added an updated X-band payload.
Eutelsat Quantum is a commercial satellite service. It uses a software-based design. It will be the first universal satellite for business requirements. ESA and the UK Space Agency cooperated in the development of research and technologies which integrated EUTELSAT QUANTUM. It is the framework of a Public-Private Partnership signed by ESA, Eutelsat, and Airbus Defence and Space.
About Maxar: the Space and intelligence technology
Maxar designs the satellites and spacecraft components for communications and Earth observation, exploration, and on-orbit servicing.
Maxar’s headquarters are in Westminster, Colorado, and the United States. Maxar started its journey in space since humans first began exploring beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Some of its features include:
- Maxar works for commercial and government missions with Space Infrastructure capabilities.
- It provides high-resolution satellite images and different derived data layers. Through this system, organizations can make decisions with confidence.
- There are more than 80 Maxar-built communications satellites currently in orbit.
- Maxar Technologies is the combined operations of Vricon, DigitalGlobe, Radiant Solutions and SSL.