Successful Ariane 5 launch
July 6, 2012 11.07 Europe/London By Robert Briel

Arianespace has successfully launched EchoStar XVII and MSG-3 from the Spaceport in French Guiana.

The two satellites were deployed into geostationary transfer orbit during a 34-minute flight. Total payload lift performance was approximately 9,640 kg., which included the combined mass of the EchoStar XVII and MSG-3 spacecraft, plus the launch vehicle’s dual-passenger dispenser system and satellite integration hardware.

“By orbiting these two satellites, we have once again demonstrated the flexibility of Ariane 5 – which was capable of simultaneously launching one of the largest telecommunications satellites ever built for an American private operator, along with one of the most capable meteorological satellites developed for a European government organization,” said Arianespace chairman and CEO Jean-Yves Le Gall.

“Following tonight’s launch, and with all of the contracts we’ve signed since the start of this year, our order book effectively covers no less than 22 firm Ariane 5 launches, which – at a pace of six to seven missions per year – guarantees us more than three years of activity.”

Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 mission is scheduled for August 2, carrying the Intelsat 20 satellite for Intelsat, along with Hylas 2 for Avanti Communications.