Ariane 5 is back in action on Thursday with the dual passenger launch of two telecommunications satellites, AT&T T-16 and Eutelsat 7C. Liftoff from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana occurred on schedule at the start of a 47 minute launch window that opens at 21:43 UTC. Flight VA248 will launch from Ariane Launch Complex No. 3 (ELA 3).
Flight VA248 is the second Ariane 5 launch of the year following a 2018 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.
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Ariane 5’s 2019 opened with the successful Hellas-Sat-4/SaudiGeoSat-1 and GSAT 31 launch in February.
The two satellite passengers for Arianespace’s upcoming Ariane 5 flight – AT&T T-16 and EUTELSAT – will result in the 104th Ariane 5 mission, the 71st with an Ariane 5 ECA version.
Both are telecommunications relay platforms for operation by long-time Arianespace customers: AT&T, which provides mobile, broadband, video and other communications services to U.S.-based consumers; and Eutelsat, the Paris-based company providing satellite capacity to ...