Successful launch for EUTELSAT 65 West A
Editor | 10 March 2016
Eutelsat has reported the successful lift-off of its 65 West A satellite from an Ariane rocket at the Kourou launch site in French Guiana.
After taking off on 9 March at 05.20 UTC, the craft reached its transfer orbit after a 27-minute flight, and operations to deploy fully the solar panels of the 6.5 tonne SSL-built satellite took place on time four hours later. Over the coming days the apogee motor will be fired four times to complete the ascent to geostationary orbit, after which antennas will be fully deployed.
After a series of performance tests, EUTELSAT 65 West A is set to enter full commercial service at 65° West in early May. The satellite is designed to target markets across Latin America and its Ku-band payload is optimised for direct-to-home reception. It also features transatlantic C-band coverage for cross-continental video contribution and distribution.
Commenting on the launch, Eutelsat CEO Rodolphe Belmer, said: “The launch of EUTELSAT 65 West A is a new milestone in the expansion of our Americas footprint. Through a combination of coverage zones and frequency bands it is uniquely placed to respond to the varying requirements of a diverse range of clients. Our thanks go to Arianespace for another flawless ride into space, our 31st by Ariane, and to SSL for its advanced delivery of a sophisticated satellite programme.”
The launch comes hot on the heels of Eutelsat claiming success in the MENA region. The company also announced that EUTELSAT 65 West A will be followed into orbit in a few weeks by the all-electric EUTELSAT 117 West B satellite that will be located at 117° West to boost capacity for Latin America broadcast markets.