For its second 2018 flight, Ariane 5 placed the DSN-1 and HYLAS 4 telecommunications satellites in orbit, on April 5th. On this occasion, the European rocket has sent into space its 200th and 201st satellites.
For its flight, the Ariane 5 had the mission to place geostationary transfer orbit DSN-1/Superbird and HYLAS 4. The respective owners of these telecommunications satellites are the Japanese company SKY Perfect and the British Avanti Communications.
The European rocket took off from the Guiana Space Center at 18:34 local time and the flight went flawlessly.
Ariane 5 places 201 satellites on the orbit, by now
DSN-1/Superbird and HYLAS 4 were dropped on the expected positions and trajectories on the Earth’s orbit. This success is obviously important for Arianespace, which markets the Ariane 5 European rocket.
Stéphane Israël, the CEO of Arianespace, has also praised the cohesion of what he calls “the Ariane sector” sending a big “Thank you!” to all the partners of this new success of Ariane 5.
The previous Ariane 5 flights had some problems
The previous flight, VA241, had an anomaly of the trajectory which had the consequence of placing the 2 communications satellites, SES-14 and Al Yah 3, in an orbit which did not present the right inclination envisaged.
The mission could not be described as a complete failure, however, since the satellites can reach their working orbital position with their own propulsion but by consuming much more fuel than expected, which will reduce their lifespan.
A commission of inquiry pointed out that the cause of this malfunction was a defect in the taking into account some particular flight parameters.
Since 1996, the launch market has evolved, especially with the emergence of new players like SpaceX and the commercial strategy of the dual launch with Ariane 5 is not as competitive as before.
That is why, in 2020, Ariane 6 will gradually replace Ariane 5.
In the meantime, Ariane 5 has reached a new milestone marking its 201st satellite deployment with the takeoff the rocket made on April 5th.