Flight VA241: Arianespace to launch SES-14 and Al Yah 3 for SES and Yahsat to serve their ambitious goals
For its first launch of 2018, Arianespace will use an Ariane 5 from the Guiana Space Center (CSG) in French Guiana to launch the SES-14 and Al Yah 3 satellites for operators SES and Yahsat (Al Yah Satellite Communications Company).
SES-14 also hosts a payload for NASA’s Explorer program: GOLD (Global-Scale Observation of the Limb and Disk).
With this 295th mission of its launcher family – the 241st utilizing an Ariane launcher – Arianespace serves the ambitions of leading satellite operators, both globally and regionally.
The Flight VA241 will be from Ariane Launch Complex No. 3 (ELA 3) in Kourou, French Guiana.
The Launch Readiness Review (LRR) will take place on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 in Kourou, to authorize the start of operations for the final countdown.
SES-14 will be the 53rd satellite launched by Arianespace for the operator SES (Société Européenne de Satellites), reaching back to Spacenet 1, orbited in May 1984.
SES-14 is one of the company’s three hybrid satellites, combining wide beams and high throughput (HTS) spot beams. Its hybrid payload offers both C- and Ku-band wide beams, plus Ku- and Ka-band HTS capacity.
Positioned at 47.5° West, SES-14 will fulfill two primary missions: its C-band wide beams are specifically designed for SES’s expanding cable neighborhood in Latin America, while its Ku-band HTS spot beams will provide expansion capacity to serve the dynamic aeronautical and maritime markets and other traffic-intensive applications, such as cellular backhaul or broadband delivery services.
SES-14 also carries the Global-Scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD), a hosted payload for NASA, whose goal is to improve the understanding of the thermosphere-ionosphere. GOLD will transmit data from a geostationary orbit at a fast pace, to build up a full-disk view every half hour, providing detailed large-scale measurements of the response of the upper atmosphere to forcing from the Sun, the magnetosphere, and the lower atmosphere.
SES-14 was built by Airbus Defence and Space in its plant in Toulouse, France, using the E3000 EOR platform. It is the 119th satellite from this manufacturer to be launched by Arianespace, and also is the second based on the Eurostar E3000 EOR platform.
Al Yah 3 will be the second satellite launched by Arianespace for the United Arab Emirates operator Yahsat (Al Yah Satellite Communications Company), following Al Yah 1, launched in 2011.
With the launch of Al Yah 3, Yahsat’s commercial Ka-band coverage will be extended to an additional 20 markets, reaching 60% of Africa’s population and over 95% of Brazil’s population.
Al Yah 3 will be positioned at 20° West Longitude.
The Al Yah 3 satellite carries 53 active Ka-band user beams and four gateway beams, and produces approximately 8.0 kilowatts of payload electrical power. The Ka-band spot beams provide two-way communications services to facilitate high-speed delivery of data to end-user applications such as broadband Internet and corporate networking as well as IP backhaul for telecommunications service providers.
Al Yah 3 was built by Orbital ATK using its new GEOStar-3 hybrid platform, the first application of this platform.
It is the 27th Orbital ATK satellite to be launched by Arianespace, a series that started with the TOPEX-Poseidon mission in 1992.
To watch a live, high-speed online transmission of the launch (including commentary in French and English from the launch site), go to arianespace.com on January 25 beginning 15 minutes before liftoff.
You also can follow the launch live on youtube.com/arianespace and on your iPhone or iPad (the Arianespace HD app is free).
Arianespace uses space to make life better on Earth by providing launch services for all types of satellites into all orbits. It has orbited more than 550 satellites since 1980, using its family of three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, from launch sites in French Guiana (South America) and Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, near Paris, and has a technical facility at the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, plus local offices in Washington, D.C., Tokyo and Singapore.
Arianespace is a subsidiary of ArianeGroup, which holds 74% of its share capital, with the balance held by 17 other shareholders from the European launcher industry.