Ariane’s 250th mission is a success: TIBA-1 and Inmarsat GX5 are in orbit!
(26 November 2019 - Arianespace) Arianespace has successfully orbited two geostationary satellites: TIBA-1, for Thales Alenia Space and Airbus Defence and Space on behalf of the Government of Egypt; and GX5 for the operator Inmarsat.
The launch took place on Tuesday, November 26, 2019 at 18:23 p.m. (local time) from the Guiana Space Center (CSG), Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana (South America).
Arianespace’s eighth mission of 2019 – and the fourth using an Ariane 5 – was performed from the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone. Flight VA250. TIBA-1 and Inmarsat GX5 (courtesy: Arianespace)
With this latest success, Arianespace once again proves its ability to support all satellite systems, even the most innovative, for both institutional and commercial customers.
Today’s launch also marks the 250th Ariane mission, a series that started with the first launch on December 24, 1979.
Following the launch, Arianespace Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Israël said: “Arianespace is very proud to have launched the 250th Ariane on our eighth mission of the year, for Thales Alenia Space and Airbus Defence and Space on behalf of the Government of Egypt, and for a leading operator, Inmarsat, which has entrusted Ariane for 10 of its satellite launches.
“Over the past 40 years, the Ariane family has guaranteed both autonomous access to space for Europe and record availability for customers from around the world. Therefore, Arianespace fulfills its fundamental mission: to put space at the service of a better life on Earth. And the Ariane story will continue next year with the advent of Ariane 6, that perfectly addresses the evolving needs of our customers.”
Arianespace at the service of telecommunications in Egypt
TIBA-1 is a civil and government telecommunications satellite for Egypt developed by Thales Alenia Space and Airbus Defense and Space as co-prime contractors. Thales Alenia Space is the consortium’s lead, and Airbus Defense and Space is the direct Arianespace customer for this mission. TIBA-1 will be owned and operated by the government of Egypt.
TIBA-1 is the fourth satellite to be launched by Arianespace for Egypt, with Arianespace having deployed the three satellites for the operator Nilesat between 1998 and 2010. TIBA-1 also is the 22nd satellite launched by Arianespace for a mission in the cooperation between Airbus Defense and Space and Thales Alenia Space.
GX5: Arianespace continues a long-standing partnership with Inmarsat
GX5 marks the 10th time since 1981 that Inmarsat has chosen Arianespace, reflecting the strength of this long-standing partnership.
Inmarsat GX5 is a mobile communications satellite built by Thales Alenia Space for Inmarsat. It will provide mobile services across the Middle East, Europe and the Indian sub-continent.
As the most advanced satellite in the GX constellation, GX5 will deliver greater capacity than the entire existing GX fleet combined (GX1-GX4). A very high throughput satellite (VHTS), GX5 will address the rapid growth in customer demand for GX services in Europe and the Middle East, particularly for satellite Ka-band Wi-Fi services from the Global Xpress (GX) fleet.
Ariane: 40 years of technical success to make life better on Earth
Today’s mission, VA250, marks a symbolic milestone in the history of Ariane, since it was the 250th Ariane launch since December 24, 1979 – when the cornerstone Ariane 1 version performed its maiden flight.
Just a few weeks away from celebrating its 40th anniversary, Ariane has built up an impressive record – a source of pride for all of Europe:
- In 40 years (1979-2019), Ariane will have launched 451 satellites, for a total weight injected into orbit of nearly 1,302 metric tons.
- From Ariane 1 to Ariane 5, payload capacity into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) has increased 10-fold, (from 1,073 kg. in 1979 for the maiden Flight L01 mission, to 10,495 kg. in 2019 for Flight VA250).
- 124 customers have chosen Ariane to deploy their missions.
- 31 different manufacturers have built the satellites carried by Ariane launchers.
During these past 40 years, Ariane has completed many iconic missions, such as launching the Galileo satellites, orbiting ATVs for servicing the International Space Station, launching the Herschel & Planck telescopes, and lofting the Rosetta spacecraft.
Arianespace looks forward to further milestones as well. For instance, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will be launched by an Ariane 5 in 2021, while the JUICE mission to Jupiter’s moons will be launched from 2022 by Ariane.
After the completion of Ariane 5 operations in 2022, Ariane 6 will reach its full operational capacity in 2023.
Arianespace uses space to make life better on Earth by providing launch services for all types of satellites into all orbits. It has orbited more than 600 satellites since 1980, using its family of three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, from launch sites in French Guiana (South America) and Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, near Paris, and has a technical facility at the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, plus local offices in Washington, D.C., Tokyo and Singapore. Arianespace is a subsidiary of ArianeGroup, which holds 74% of its share capital, with the balance held by 15 other shareholders from the European launcher industry.