Arianespace launched its fifth mission of 2019 deploying a pair of communications satellites for AT&T and long-time customers Eutelsat. The T-16 and EUTELSAT 7C satellites were launched aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from the Guiana Space Center.
The Ariane 5 carrying the pair of communications satellites was launched at 21:43 UTC (18:43 local time) on June 20. Following a successful launch, the T-16 satellite was deployed into a geostationary orbit approximately 28 minutes into the mission. The mission concluded around 6 minutes later with the deployment of the EUTELSAT 7C satellite.
The 6,350 kilograms (14,000-pound) T-16 satellite was manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space for AT&T. The broadcast satellite is capable of operating from five different orbital slots (from 99 deg. West to 119 deg. West). Once operational, it will supply coverage to the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The T-16 satellite was the 11th launched by Arianespace on behalf of AT&T and will remain operational for 15 years.
Manufactured by Maxar Technologies, the 3,400-kilogram (7,500-pound) EUTELSAT 7C is equipped with 44 operational transponders and will provide service from 7 degrees East longitude. The satellite will provide coverage to Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Turkey. It will allow Eutelsat to almost double its capacity over Sub-Saharan Africa, which will enable the company to support hundreds of additional digital channels to support the continent’s expanding TV market.
Yesterday’s Ariane 5 mission was the fifth launched by Arianespace this year. The company currently has several more missions planned for this year with the next likely to deploy the GSAT-30 communications satellite for the Indian Space Research Organization.