Eutelsat web satellite tv for pc launched aboard the Ariane 5 rocket – Spaceflight Now

A European Ariane 5 rocket lifts off from Kourou, French Guiana, with the Eutelsat Konnect VHTS broadband satellite tv for pc. Credit score: Credit score: ESA/CNES/Arianespace/P. Piron

A robust Eutelsat industrial communications satellite tv for pc was launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana on Wednesday, launched into orbit for a mission anticipated to final greater than 15 years to supply high-speed connectivity to rural households, ships and to airplane passengers throughout Europe.

The Eutelsat Konnect VHTS satellite tv for pc was the one payload aboard the Ariane 5 rocket because it jumped off its launch pad on the European-run Guiana House Heart on Wednesday. Liftoff for the 180-foot-tall (55-meter) rocket passed off at 5:45 p.m. EDT (2145 GMT) from the ELA-3 launch pad on the Jungle Spaceport in French Guiana.

The brand new Eutelsat spacecraft weighed over 7 tonnes (roughly 6.4 metric tonnes) at launch and can present Ka-band connectivity for European markets, together with mounted broadband clients – comparable to properties and companies – and In-flight WiFi customers flying throughout Europe on airliners. The satellite tv for pc’s primary physique is about 29 toes (8.8 meters) tall, as tall as a three-story constructing.

A day late because of unfavorable winds aloft, the Ariane 5 rocket ignited its hydrogen-powered Vulcain 2 primary engine because the countdown reached zero. Seven seconds later, the Ariane 5 ignited two strong aspect rocket boosters to propel the launch automobile off the pad with 2.9 million kilos of thrust.

The rocket headed east from the launch pad, exceeded the pace of sound in lower than a minute and jettisoned its two spent solid-fuel boosters almost two and a half minutes into flight. Floor-tracking cameras confirmed worn-out booster casings drifting away from Ariane 5’s core stage because the rocket blasted off into the daylight.

The Ariane 5 rolled out its Swiss-made payload fairing a couple of minute later, then shut down its Vulcain 2 engine almost minutes after liftoff. A cryogenic higher stage powered by an HM7B engine fired about 16 minutes to put the Eutelsat Konnect VHTS spacecraft into an egg-shaped “supersynchronous” switch orbit as much as 37,500 miles (60,351 kilometers) above the Earth.

The goal inclination for the switch orbit was 3.5 levels relative to the equator, permitted by the Ariane 5 launch website within the tropics of South America. The rocket launched the Eutelsat satellite tv for pc almost 29 minutes after launch, prompting a spherical of applause on the launch management middle in French Guiana.

Eutelsat Konnect VHTS will deploy its photo voltaic arrays and use its low-thrust however fuel-efficient plasma engines to maneuver into its ultimate round geostationary orbit greater than 22,000 miles (almost 36,000 kilometers) above the equator. VHTS stands for Very Excessive Throughput Satellite tv for pc.

“The most important capability communications satellite tv for pc ever inbuilt Europe is now in house,” stated Hervé Derrey, CEO of Thales Alenia House, which assembled and examined Eutelsat Konnect’s VHTS in Cannes, France.

The Eutelsat Konnect VHTS satellite tv for pc present process pre-launch processing on the Guiana House Heart. Credit score: Credit score: ESA/CNES/Arianespace/P. Baudon

It can take a number of months for the spacecraft to achieve its ultimate orbit, and extra months to finish testing, with entry into industrial service anticipated within the second half of 2023.

“This can be a very huge first,” stated Eva Berneke, CEO of Paris-based Eutelsat. “It is about making an attempt to resolve a very huge drawback for all of Europe across the digital divide. To do this, we have began one thing actually modern with Thales Alenia House…to bridge that digital divide throughout the Europe, nevertheless it’s an extended journey.

Satellites utilizing plasma thrusters take longer to achieve their ultimate operational orbit than spacecraft outfitted with extra highly effective liquid-fuel rocket engines. However they require a lot decrease gas hundreds, which suggests their house owners can launch them on a smaller rocket or exchange propellant mass with payload mass, like antennas, electronics and transponders within the case. from a industrial communications satellite tv for pc.

Eutelsat Konnect VHTS carries a Ka-band payload with a communication capability of 500 Gbps. Eutelsat ordered the brand new satellite tv for pc from Thales in 2018 after negotiations with Viasat failed on a joint broadband geostationary satellite tv for pc mission for Europe.

“This satellite tv for pc will present high-speed connectivity throughout Europe, the Center East and North Africa with throughput of over 100 Mbps per person, equal to fiber,” Derrey stated in remarks after Wednesday’s launch.

Designed for a lifespan of at the very least 15 years, the brand new satellite tv for pc has seven instances the capability of the Eutelsat Konnect satellite tv for pc, a earlier broadband spacecraft launched in 2022. Main European telecommunications corporations, comparable to France’s Orange and Telecom Italia Cellular in Italy, have agreed to make use of the broadband capability of Eutelsat Konnect VHTS. Thales Alenia House will promote broadband capability to authorities clients.

“With Eutelsat Konnect VHTS, we take connectivity to the subsequent stage,” stated Pascal Homsy, CTO of Eutelsat. “Defying all odds, it’s the strongest satellite tv for pc to hitch Eutelsat’s fleet. It can ship 230 beams over Western Europe and is supplied with a fifth era clear digital processor which is able to give a substantial benefit when it comes to frequency flexibility on board.

Artist’s idea of the Eutelsat Konnect VHTS spacecraft in orbit. Credit score: Thales Alenia House

Ariane 5 rockets usually launch two giant satellites directly on missions heading into geostationary orbit, however Eutelsat Konnect VHTS is just too giant to pair with some other payload on Arianespace’s flight schedule.

With the profitable launch of Eutelsat Konnect’s VHTS on Wednesday, there are solely three Ariane 5 rockets left in Arianespace’s stock. The Ariane 5, in service since 1996, is being retired in favor of the subsequent era Ariane 6 rocket, a launcher that European officers say might be cheaper to function and extra aggressive within the international launch market.

The Ariane 5 was as soon as dominant in industrial launch exercise, however lower-cost launch companies for SpaceX’s partially reusable Falcon 9 rocket have eroded Arianespace’s place. The Ariane 6 is an expandable design, just like the Ariane 5. However Arianespace has secured contracts to launch European authorities missions and satellites for Amazon’s Kuiper broadband community on the Ariane 6, which is scheduled to launch subsequent yr.

The following launch of Ariane 5 is scheduled for December, adopted by two extra in 2023 to finish this system.

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Comply with Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

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