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Satellite Communications Technology

Ariane 5 launch VA241 for SES-14 and Al Yah 3

(26 January 2018 - Arianespace, Orbital ATK, SES) The launcher’s liftoff took place on January 25, 2018 at 7:20 pm. A few seconds after ignition of the upper stage, the second tracking station located in Natal, Brazil, did not acquire the launcher telemetry. This lack of telemetry lasted throughout the rest of powered flight.

ariane 1

Ariane VA241 launch (courtesy: Arianespace)

Lift off occurred as planned at 19:20 local time in Kourou on January 25 2018. At H0 + 9 minutes 26 seconds, ground tracking stations lost contact with the Ariane 5 launcher.

Initial investigations show that the situation results from a trajectory deviation.

At the end of the mission, the launcher separated both satellites on a stable orbit. SES and Yahsat have acquired their respective satellites which are operating nominally.

Arianespace has set up an independent investigation commission chaired by ESA’s General Inspector.

The upcoming launch campaigns currently underway at the Guiana Space Centre (CSG) proceed as scheduled.


SES has announced that it has successfully established a telemetry and telecommand connection to its SES-14 spacecraft and is setting up a new orbit raising plan now. SES-14 would thus reach the geostationary orbit only four weeks later than originally planned. SES confirms that the spacecraft is in good health, all subsystems on board are nominal, and the satellite is expected to meet the designed life time.

SES-14 will be positioned at 47.5 degrees West to serve Latin America, the Caribbean, North America and the North Atlantic region with C- and Ku-band wide beam coverage and Ku-band high throughput spot beam coverage.

Al Yah 3

The satellite was successfully acquired by the Orbital ATK mission operations team and is healthy and operating nominally. A revised flight plan will be executed in order to achieve the operational orbit and fulfill the original mission.

Al Yah 3, an all Ka-band satellite, is the first hybrid electric propulsion GEOStar-3 satellite to be completed by Orbital ATK. Al Yah 3 will join Al Yah 1 and Al Yah 2 in helping to empower millions of people across the Middle East, Africa, South West Asia and Brazil to access affordable Internet access via Yahsat’s high-speed satellite broadband service, YahClick. The service is designed to provide satellite broadband Internet to everyone, opening up new opportunities for every aspect of society from governments and enterprises to end users at home. Al Yah 3 will expand Yahsat’s commercial Ka-band coverage to an additional 19 new markets in Africa, reaching 60% of the population. Furthermore, Al Yah 3 will serve Brazil, covering over 95% of its population. Al Yah 3 is due to begin delivering commercial services later in 2018.