[SatNews] Ariane 5 has been successfully launched from Kourou, French Guiana, for the 65th time in a row, once again confirming the reliability of the European launcher. With this launch, DIRECTV 15, the 100th geostationary telecommunications satellite built by Airbus Defence and Space, has been delivered into orbit. The company is prime contractor for both the launcher and the satellite.
“This launch once more highlights the expertise and competitiveness of Airbus Defence and Space for telecommunications satellites and the Ariane 5 launcher,” said François Auque, Head of Space Systems. “We would like to thank Arianespace, which markets the launches and operates the range of European launcher systems at the Guiana Space Centre, our customer DIRECTV for having selected us to build the spacecraft, as well as our industrial and institutional partners.”
“DIRECTV will use this powerful satellite to lead the introduction of UltraHD 4K video services in the US, in the same way we led the introduction of HD services in the U.S. in 2005,” said Phil Goswitz, Senior Vice President, Space and Communications, DIRECTV. “Airbus Defence and Space delivered this very critical and remarkably powerful satellite one month ahead of schedule and met all the commitments they made to us. That is simply magnificent execution. DIRECTV congratulates our key partners at Airbus Defence and Space on their 100th communications satellite.”
The required performance for this 223rd Ariane flight was to transport 9,960 kg into geostationary transfer orbit, including 9,200 kg for the two satellites on board (DIRECTV 15 and SKYM-1). The remaining mass was for the SYLDA (Système de Lancement Double Ariane) dual launch system and the satellite integration hardware.