WATCH VIDEO. Arainespace’s sixth Ariane 5 flight in 2014 delivered DirecTV-14 and GSAT-16 to orbit.

Delivering a total payload lift performance of approximately 10,200 kg., the mission – designated Flight VA221 in Arianespace’s numbering system – lofted DirecTV-14, along with the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (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 Arianespace’s capacity to address the entire span of satellite communications operators,” said Stéphane Israël, the company’s Chairman and CEO, in post-launch comments at the Spaceport.

The company lofted DirecTV’s first satellite in 1993 (DirecTV-1 using an Ariane 4 version), and in total has orbited seven spacecraft for this operator.

“Arianespace and DirecTV started their cooperation 21 years ago and met with many successes together,” said Arianespace’s Israël. “With three more DirecTV satellites lining up in our order book, this win-win relationship will enable to meet with many more in the future.”

Speaking in French, Phil Goswitz, DirecTV’s SVP – Space Systems & Communications, thanked Arianespace for a “superb launch,” adding that Ariane 5 is “the best and most reliable launcher in the world.”

To operate from an orbital location of 99 degrees West, DirecTV is a 20-kilowatt class Ka-band and reverse-band digital broadcast satellite that will deliver Ultra HD and other new consumer services for DirecTV. It is based on the SSL 1300 spacecraft platform with a liftoff mass of approximately 6,300 kg., and is to provide service for users across the U.S.
(including Hawaii and Alaska) and Puerto Rico.

Dr. S.K. Shivakumar, Director of the Indian Space Research Organisation’s Satellite Centre (ISAC), congratulated Arianespace for today’s launch and accurate injection into geostationary transfer orbit for GSAT-16, adding that ISRO will be back next year for GSAT-15’s flight on another Ariane 5. “And we do hope in the years to come that many more opportunities to work
together will exist for us.”

With a liftoff mass estimated at 3,180 kg., GSAT-16 carries Ku- and C-band transponders to further augment communication services across India – operating from an orbital position of 55 degrees East.