Published: 08.43 Europe/London, April 26, 2011

Arianespace successfully launched the Yahsat Y1A and Intelsat New Dawn satellites on Friday, April 22.

Lifting off on time at 6:37 pm in French Guiana, the Ariane 5 climbed through a partial cloud cover at sunset, and continued its downrange flight in clear skies. This allowed a direct view of the separation for Ariane 5′s two solid propellant boosters at an altitude of 66.5 kilometers, followed by the payload fairingís jettison at a 105-kilometer altitude.

Yahsat Y1A will have a coverage footprint spanning the Middle East, Africa, and Southwest Asia, creating regionally-focused capacity to meet the regionís expanding requirements for government, commercial and consumer satellite communication services. Operating from an orbital slot of 52.5 degrees East, it will support Abu Dhabiís ambition to become a hub for media broadcasting and telecommunications services Ė enabling customers from Europe and South Asia to connect with customers across the entire coverage area.

Intelsat New Dawn, which was deployed from Ariane 5′s lower payload position at 35 minutes into tonightís flight, is owned by a joint venture of Intelsat and a consortium led by Convergence Partners. This satelliteís C-band and Ku-band transponders are to support the communications infrastructure for African customers who have experienced exceptional growth, and contribute to the regionís development. It is tailored for voice, wireless backhaul, internet and media applications services.

Built by Orbital Sciences Corporation using its Star-2 platform, Intelsat New Dawn will be integrated with Intelsatís global satellite fleet and stationed at the 32.8 degrees East orbital location. It was the 52nd satellite launched by Arianespace for Intelsat.