Arianespace’s Ariane 5 launcher logged another heavy-lift mission achievement, orbiting commercial telecommunications payloads today for Measat and Optus on Flight VA218.

Lifting off from the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone in French Guiana, Ariane 5 successfully deployed Measat-3b and Optus 10 into geostationary transfer orbit – marking its 61st consecutive successful mission. Arianespace Chairman and CEO Stéphane Israël noted that a total of 100 communications satellites have been delivered to geostationary transfer orbits by Ariane 5 during this unbroken string of successes.

“I am particularly happy that this event came on the occasion of a launch for the Asia-Pacific region: a part of the world where Arianespace has been very successful, as demonstrated by a market share constantly above 60%,” he said in comments from the Spaceport’s mission control center.

“With tonight’s launch, 70 payloads have been orbited by Arianespace for customers from Asia-Pacific region and this trend will continue as our order book currently includes 10 more satellites to be launched for customers in the region.”

Israël said the company’s next launch is another Ariane 5 dual-passenger mission to geostationary transfer orbit in October. It will carry ISDLA-1 for DirecTV and Intelsat, which are two long-time customers of Arianespace; along with Arsat’s Arsat-1 – the first geostationary communications
satellite built in Argentina.