Telecommunications satellites for two long-standing Arianespace customers were launched today on the companys sixth Ariane 5 flight in 2014, extending the heavy-lift workhorses string of consecutive successes to 63.
Delivering a total payload lift performance of approximately 10,200 kg., the mission designated Flight VA221 in Arianespaces numbering system lofted DIRECTV-14 for operator DIRECTV, along with the Indian Space Research Organisations (ISRO) GSAT-16.
The DIRECTV-14 spacecraft was deployed first in the flight sequence, separating from Ariane 5 nearly 28 minutes after liftoff, followed four minutes later by its GSAT-16 co-passenger.
This dual mission to geostationary transfer orbit is the very symbol of Arianespaces capacity to address the entire span of satellite communications operators, said Stéphane Israël, the companys Chairman and CEO, in post-launch comments at the Spaceport.
The Arianespace mission diversity, which is geographic and cultural in nature, has been underscored throughout 2014 with five commercial launches performed for 10 customers evenly distributed across the globe spanning the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific.