Third Intelsat contract for Ariane 6

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Arianespace and one of its major historical customers took advantage of World Satellite Business Week to announce the signing of a new launch contract, using the future European heavy launcher.

Four decades of history

The love story between the American telecommunications satellite operator Intelsat and European space launchers has been going on for 40 years now: on October 19, 1983, for its third commercial flight, an Ariane 1 rocket placed the fifth generation satellite Intelsat V F-7 (Intelsat 507) into geostationary transfer orbit.

Since then, more than 60 satellites have been entrusted to the family by Intelsat Arianethe latest, Galaxy 35 and 36, having been embarked in December 2022 on Ariane 5 during its antepenultimate mission (VA259).

Mini satcom as auxiliary passenger

On September 12, on the occasion of the World Satellite Business Week organized in Paris by the firm EuroconsultArianespace and Intelsat announced the signing of a contract for the launch of the Intelsat 45 system (IS-45) aboard the future European heavy launcher Ariane 6, in its A64 version (equipped with four booster thrusters).

Weighing around one tonne at launch, IS-45 is the first small geostationary telecommunications satellite built by the Swiss company Swissto12 based on its HummingSat platform.

The IS-45 launch mission is scheduled for the first half of 2026, and will be shared with co-passengers.

IS-45 will be the third Intelsat payload entrusted to Ariane 6, after the IS 41 and 44 satellites (built by Thales Alenia Space on the new flexible platform Space Inspire), whose launch contract was signed in November 2022, for deployment in 2025.

John Walker Avatar