Next Ariane 5 to break three records

(20 Oct 2021) For its 11th launch of 2021 with the second Ariane 5 of the year, Arianespace will orbit two geostationary satellites: SES-17, a high throughput satellite operated by SES and Syracuse 4A, a satellite developed for the French Ministry of Defense. Lift-off from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana, is scheduled for Saturday, 23 October 2021, during a launch window from 0101 to 0330 UTC.
  • SES-17 is to provide coverage over the Americas, the Caribbean and over the Atlantic Ocean and has been designed to transform the aviation connectivity landscape and to accelerate digital inclusion initiatives. It features almost 200 spot beams, the power of which can be dynamically adjusted in step with customers' changing requirements. It is also the first SES satellite to have a totally digital payload and is powered by an advanced digital transparent processor (DTP), enabling far greater flexibility and efficiency than previously available. The Luxembourg based operator's telecommunications satellite will be one of the largest ever launched by Arianespace.
  • The Syracuse 4A military communications satellite, commissioned by the DGA (Direction Générale de l'Armement), France's defence procurement agency, will allow to connect the armed forces together when deployed. At sea, in the air or on the ground, militaries need secured and powerful communication means in order to be able to exchange information with the command centre. Thanks to its state-of-the-art equipment (anti-jamming antenna and digital on board processor), SYRACUSE 4A will guarantee a high resistance to extreme jamming methods. At the service of France's sovereignty, the satellite will also support NATO and European-led operations.

VA255, the 111th Ariane 5 mission, will see the heavy-lift European launcher break three records. With a total performance of approximately 11.2 tons, this will be the heaviest payload ever launched by Ariane 5 ECA, surpassing the previous record reached in 2017 with VA237, by nearly 300 kg. The cumulative mass of its two payloads will reach 10,263 kilograms (6,411 kilograms for SES-17 and 3,852 kilograms for Syracuse 4A), the heaviest ever launched towards GTO orbit. VA255 will also be the tallest Ariane 5 ever launched with a fairing raised by 1.5 meter compared to standard configuration.

Reference: ArianeGroup PR

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