July 15, 2015
Keeping up the pace: Ariane 5 orbits Star One C4 and MSG-4 on Arianespace’s sixth flight in 2015
Arianespace was back in action today with its Ariane 5 successfully launching the Meteosat Second Generation-4 (MSG-4) and Star One C4 satellites. Launch from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana was on schedule at the start of a 37 minute launch window that opened at 9:42pm UTC.
Image above: Ariane 5 lifts off from the Spaceport in French Guiana to begin its successful Flight VA224 with Star One C4 and MSG-4, which were the 511th and 512th spacecraft launched by Arianespace.
Arianespace’s marked the halfway point in its fast-paced 2015 operational schedule today with the 66th consecutive successful Ariane 5 launch, which deployed two satellites into geostationary transfer orbits for very diverse roles.
Liftoff of Ariane 5 with Star One C4 and MSG-4
Ariane 5 Flight VA224 lifted off at the beginning of its launch window from the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch complex in French Guiana with a mixed-mission satellite payload composed of the Star One C4 telecommunications relay platform for Embratel Star One and Eumetsat’s MSG-4 for meteorological monitoring.
Tonight’s flight was Arianespace’s sixth from French Guiana this year with its complete launcher family – underscoring the company’s ability to meet an increased mission pace, while it carries out its dual mission: to be a leader in commercial space transportation and guarantee Europe’s independent access to space.
In addition, the 40-minute flight marked another mission accomplished for Arianespace’s reliable heavy-lift Ariane 5, which carried a total payload of nearly 8,590 kg. on its 80th launch from the Spaceport in French Guiana.
Extended telecommunications services for Embratel Star One
Riding in the upper position, Embratel Star One’s Star One C4 was deployed first in the flight sequence at more than 28 minutes after liftoff. This telecommunications satellite – which was designed and built by SSL (Space Systems/Loral) – will reinforce direct-to-home services in Brazil, while expanding access to other Latin American countries, and the mainland United States for Embratel Star One, which is the largest satellite operator in South America.
Star One C4 satellite
The deployment of Star One C4 continues Embratel Star One’s 30-year collaboration with Arianespace, during which the launch service provider has lofted 10 satellites for this Brazilian operator.
Another step in Arianespace’s partnership with Eumetsat
Europe’s Eumetsat weather, climate and environmental monitoring organization is another long-time partner of Arianespace, with MSG-4’s successful separation some 40 minutes after liftoff marking the latest step in a relationship that extends back to Arianespace’s beginnings.
Produced by Thales Alenia Space, MSG-4 is the 12th satellite Eumetsat has entrusted to Arianespace, along with the fourth and final satellite in the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) series of spacecraft, which play an important role in supporting the detection and forecasting of high-impact weather.
MSG-4 is being stored in orbit following its launch and commissioning. Once operational, it will be renamed Meteosat-11, and bridge the gap between Meteosat-10 (launched by Ariane 5 in 2012) and the first Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) satellites, which are planned for launch in 2019 and 2021.
Six launches… and counting
Flight VA224 was Arianespace’s third heavy-lift mission so far this year, following Flight VA223 on May 27 and Flight VA222 on April 26. Arianespace has also performed two light-lift Vega missions (Flight VV04 on February 11 and June 22’s Flight VV05), along with one flight of its medium-weight Soyuz vehicle: Flight VS11 on March 27.
For more information, see the VA224 launch kit: http://www.arianespace.com/news-launch-kits/2015-2016-archive.asp
For more information about Arianespace, visit: http://www.arianespace.com/index/index.asp
Images, Video, Text, Credits: Arianespace/Thales Alenia Space/Eumetsat/Orbiter.ch Aerospace.