On Tuesday evening the European heavy launcher Ariane 5 left the Guiana Space Center in Kourou. For this first launch of the year, Ariane 5 placed the telecommunications satellites HS-4 / SGS-1 and GSAT-31 in a geostationary orbit. With this successful flight, the requested performance of the launcher was 10 tons, including 9 tons for both satellites.
On behalf of the operators KACST and Hellas Sat (Arabsat), the satellite Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1 / Hellas Sat 4 consists of two payloads for Europe, the Middle East and South Africa.
Launched on behalf of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the GSAT-31 satellite strives to " to reduce the digital divide in India. "Currently, India still needs to depend on foreign players such as Arianespace to place geostationary orbit satellites of different tons (2.5 tons for GSAT-31).
Arianespace has launched the GSAT-11 (5.8 ton) for the last Ariane 5 flight in 2018 and in May 2019 the launch of the next GSAT-30 geostationary satellite for ISRO will start. .
Yesterday it was the 103rd launch of an Ariane 5 rocket. Last year, Ariane 5 made six launches. For this year 2019, a total of five Ariane 5 launches are planned, with the three launchers of the current range (Ariane 5, Soyuz and Vega), Arianespace will have twelve missions this year (compared with eleven in 2018).
At the same time Arianespace is preparing the arrival of the Vega-C and Ariane 6 launchers with the continuation of their commercialization. A qualifying flight from Vega-C is scheduled for the end of this year.