Spacebus Neo Konnect in the thermal vacuum test chamber. (Credit: Thales Alenia Space)
KOUROU, French Guiana (ESA PR) — Ariane 5’s first launch of 2020 has delivered two telecom satellites, Konnect and GSAT-30, into their planned transfer orbits. Arianespace announced liftoff at 21:05 GMT (22:05 CET, 18:05 local time) this evening from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
Konnect, with a launch mass of 3619 kg, was the first to be released after about 27 minutes.
Konnect will provide broadband services for Europe and Africa and has a design life of 15 years. It was built by Thales Alenia Space for Eutelsat, its commercial operator, and is the first satellite from the new Spacebus Neo product line developed under an ESA Partnership Project managed jointly by ESA and the French Space Agency, CNES.
ESA Partnership Projects such as Neosat federate European industry around large-scale programmes, developing innovative cutting-edge solutions in partnership with private or public partners. This approach allows European prime contractors and equipment suppliers to be competitive on the world commercial market.
The Spacebus Neo platform is the result of a European-wide cooperation with contributions from 17 Member States, with more than 90% of the platform sourced in Europe....