KOUROU, French Guiana, April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- On Friday evening, April 18, Arianespace boosted two communications satellites into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO): Star One C2 for Brazilian operator Star One, as part of a turnkey contract with Thales Alenia Space, and VINASAT-1, built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS) for operator Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (VNPT).
38th Ariane 5 launch, 24th success in a row
The latest successful launch of an Ariane 5, the second in 2008, comes just five weeks after the flawless launch of the Jules Verne ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) to the International Space Station. It confirms that Arianespace''s launch Service & Solutions continue to set the standard and guarantee independent access to space for all stakeholders, whether national or international space agencies, private or government operators.
Ariane 5 is the only commercial launcher in service today capable of simultaneously launching two payloads, and gives Arianespace customers unrivaled performance, flexibility and competitiveness.
A boost for a new customer
Arianespace is particularly proud of being selected to launch VINASAT-1, Vietnam''s first communications satellite. Through VINASAT-1, the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) will be able to offer a wide range of telecommunications services across the country.
VINASAT-1 is the 39th Lockheed Martin platform to be launched by Arianespace.
Long-standing customers and partners
Star One C2 is the eighth Brazilian satellite to use the European launcher. Star One is the largest regional satellite service operator in Latin America.
Arianespace and Thales Alenia Space have established relations of mutual trust that reach back many years. Arianespace has launched nearly two-thirds of all satellites built by Thales Alenia Space to date. Star One C2 is the 52nd platform built by Thales Alenia Space to be launched by Europe''s Ariane rocket.
Star One C2/VINASAT-1 mission at a glance
The mission was carried out by an Ariane 5 ECA launcher from Europe''s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Liftoff was on Friday, April 18, at 7:17 pm local time in Kourou (7:17 pm in Rio de Janeiro, 22:17 UTC, and on Saturday, April 19 at 12:17 am in Paris, and 5:17 am in Hanoi).
Provisional parameters at injection of the cryogenic upper stage (ESC-A) were:
Perigee: 249.6 km for a target of 250 km (+/- 4) Apogee: 35,928 km for a target of 35,928 km (+/-240) Inclination: 2.00 degrees for a target of 2.00 degrees (+/-0.06 degrees)
The Star One C2 satellite was built by Thales Alenia Space in a turnkey contract with Brazilian operator Star One. Based on a Spacebus 3000 B3 platform, the satellite weighed 4,100 kg at launch. It will be positioned in geostationary orbit at 70 degrees West. Star One C2 is fitted with 28 C-band, 16 Ku-band and one X-band transponder, and is designed to provide communications, multimedia and broadband Internet services for South America.
VINASAT-1, weighing 2,600 kg at launch, was built by LMCSS in Newtown, Pennsylvania, using an A2100A platform. It will be positioned in geostationary orbit at 132 degrees East, and offers a design life exceeding 15 years. Fitted with 12 Ku-band and 8 C-band transponders, VINASAT-1 is designed to provide radio, television and telephone transmission services throughout Vietnam and Asia countries.