70th consecutive successful launch for Ariane 5
Flight number 228 for the Ariane launcher, successfully placing a telecommunications satellite in its geostationary transfer orbit, took place today from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
This was the seventh launch of an Ariane 5 with Airbus Safran Launchers as lead contractor, in coordination with the teams from the respective parent companies, Airbus Defence and Space, and Safran. Airbus Safran Launchers thus demonstrated, with Arianespace, the ability to respond to the specific needs of one of its clients in record time,
as the launcher was adapted to accommodate a single satellite rather than the customary two satellites for which Ariane 5 ECA has been optimized.
"Following the year 2015 with 6 successful launches in 7 months, 2016 starts with a demonstration of our ability to adapt, thanks to the engagement of the teams and the operational flexibility of the industrial organisation", Alain Charmeau, CEO of Airbus Safran Launchers pointed out. "This level of flexibility is made possible by the expertise and know-how of the teams at Airbus Safran Launchers and its parent companies. This first success of 2016 marks the beginning of a series of operational challenges for Ariane 5 over the coming year. I would like to thank the European Space Agency, CNES and Arianespace for their confidence".
Launch performance was only 6700kg (of which 6552 kg was the actual satellite) to geostationary transfer orbit with an inclination of 0.5 degrees, thus optimising the lifetime of the satellite.
Airbus Safran Launchers has been the prime contractor for the Ariane 5 European launcher, one of the largest and most ambitious space programmes in the world, since January 2015. Building on the expertise of the Airbus and Safran groups, the company oversees an industrial network that brings together more than 550 companies (more than 20% of which are SMEs) in 12 European countries. Airbus Safran Launchers manages the entire industrial supply chain, from the manufacture of equipment and stages to the complete integration of the launcher in French Guiana, in line with the customer's specifications. Representing cutting-edge European expertise, the Ariane 5 launcher has been specially designed to inject heavy payloads into low Earth orbit or 2 satellites into geostationary transfer orbit.
Airbus Safran Launchers is also the prime contractor for the future European launcher Ariane 6, whose maiden flight is scheduled for 2020.
Ariane flight 228 in numbers
- 228th Ariane launch
- 84th Ariane 5 launch and 54th Ariane 5 ECA
- 6th Ariane rocket to be delivered to Arianespace that was assembled and tested under the responsibility of Airbus Safran Launchers, the prime contractor
- 70th consecutive success for Ariane 5