Ariane 5 sets new world record with SES 17/Syracuse 4A launch

(24 Oct 2021) Rocket: Ariane 5 ECA; Payload. SES 17; Syracuse 4A; Date: 24 October 2021, 0210 UTC; Launch site: Kourou, French Guiana. The satellites were placed into approx. 251 km x 35,260 km x 5.95 degrees geostationary transfer orbit.

With this 111th mission, Ariane 5 broke the record for the cumulative net mass ever delivered to GTO by a single launcher. With a total performance of 11.2 metric tons, the mass of the Ariane 5's payloads reached 10,264 kg at separation (6,411 kg for SES 17 and 3,853 kg for Syracuse 4A). For this mission, Ariane 5 also reached a height of 56.4 meters, thanks to a 1.5 m extension placed under the long fairing.

The next Ariane 5 launch is scheduled for 18 December, when the rocket is to put the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)on a trajectory toward its operating position at the L2 Lagrange point some 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.

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SES-17 is a very high throughput communications satellite designed to give the company's customers high-powered, flexible and continuous connectivity services on land, at sea or in the air. Covering North and South America, the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean, SES 17 targets aviation, maritime, enterprise, and government markets.

Based on Thales Alenia Space's Spacebus NEO platform with all-electric propulsion, SES-17 features an all-digital payload thanks to a new fifth-generation 200 GHz digital transparent processor (DTP5G), the only one of its kind in orbit to date. Thanks to this processor, SES-17 can create a virtually unlimited number of communication channels, and also connect its 200 beams to any other at any given moment to deliver up to 2 Gbps throughput per connection.

The Syracuse 4A military communications satellite, commissioned by the French Armament General Directorate (DGA), will allow to connect the armed forces together when deployed. Thanks to its equipment (anti-jamming antenna and digital transparent processor, Syracuse 4A will guarantee a high resistance to extreme jamming methods. The satellite will also support NATO and European-led operations. It was built by Thales Alenia Space on the all-electric Spacebus NEO platform.

For Syracuse IV, Telespazio, a joint Venture between Leonardo (67 %) and Thales (33 %), is in charge of the orbital positioning and station keeping for the satellites and will support the Ministry of the Armed Forces by contributing to its valorisation and exploitation during the next 15 years. Thales is supplying the ground segment, which will rely on its Modem 21 transmission system.

Reference: Arianespace PR, Thales Alenia Space PR

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