Ariane 5 will open her 2019 campaign on Tuesday with the dual passenger launch of two telecommunications satellites, Hellas-Sat-4/SaudiGeoSat-1 and GSAT 31. Liftoff from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana is scheduled for the start of a 61 minute launch window that opens at 21:00 UTC. Flight VA247 will be launched from Ariane Launch Complex No. 3 (ELA 3).
Flight VA247 opens 2019 following a year that marked 11 missions across the Arianespace fleet. Six used the heavy-lift Ariane 5 – which is one of three launch vehicles operated by Arianespace at the Spaceport, along with the medium-lift Soyuz and light-lift Vega.
A total of 57 metric tons was placed into orbit for 13 different customers.
This year opening mission with the Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1/Hellas Sat 4, a condosat for KACST (and Hellas Sat; along with GSAT-31 for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be the 103rd Ariane 5 mission – the 70th with an Ariane 5 ECA version.
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This latest mission involves a total payload of approximately 10,052 kg. This total includes the two satellite passengers, plus the vehicle’s dual-payload deployment system and integration hardware.