Ariane 5’s road to retirement begins with today’s launch of two payloads

(ORDO NEWS) — Arianespace, ArianeGroup and the European Space Agency (ESA) have completed the second flight this year and the first for the veteran rocket, the Ariane 5, which is starting its retirement journey with the first of the last five planned missions.

The mission launched from Kourou in French Guiana at 00:50 UTC today, in the middle of the 100-minute launch window.

The two payloads are MEASAT-3d and GSAT-24, with a total mass of 10,849 kg. They were delivered to a target orbit of 250 x 35,786 km, inclined 6° to the equator, during a 25-minute flight into orbit.

In general, preparations for this mission began several years ago, when contracts were awarded for the construction of satellites and a general launch contract with ArianeGroup.

Various components of the rocket, including the solid booster sections, the cryogenic main stage and the cryogenic upper stage, were delivered to French Guiana, where assembly of the launch vehicle for the flight began on May 13, 2022.

MEASAT-3d is a 5,648 kg telecommunications satellite built by Airbus Defense and Space based on the Eurostar E3000 satellite bus.

It will be used as part of the Korean satellite system, called KASS, to improve air traffic control in South Korea as well as to cover the larger Malaysian region over an 18-year service life.

GSAT-24 is the first satellite of its kind, weighing 4,181 kg, built on the I-3K satellite bus for the Indian company NewSpace India Limited.

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