Arianespace has had a rocky start to their year after losing launcher telemetry following an Ariane 5 launch. Launcher telemetry for the vehicle was lost following second stage ignition. The launch provider was unable to regain contact with the Ariane 5 upper stage for the rest of powered flight.
The Ariane 5 was launched from Guiana Space Centre at 22:20 GMT (19:20 local time) on January 25. 9 minutes and 26 seconds into the Ariane 5’s flight, ground tracking stations lost all telemetry with the vehicle. The launch provider was unable to regain telemetry and had to rely on the SES and Yahsat control centres to confirm the satellites had been deployed successfully.
In a press release published the day after the launch, Arianespace revealed that the satellites had been deployed successfully. Both the SES-14 and Al Yah 3 satellites had, however, suffered what the launch provider referred to as “trajectory deviation”. The press release also revealed that Arianespace has launched an investigation into the incident. “Arianespace has set up an independent investigation commission chaired by ESA’s General Inspector.”
Despite the apparent failure of the Ariane 5 launch vehicle, Arianespace has confirmed that the incident will not affect their launch schedule. “The upcoming launch campaigns currently underway at the Guiana Space Centre (CSG) proceed as scheduled.”
Late last year, Arianespace suffered a last-second hold with Flight VA239. Although the launch provider hasn’t suffered a complete vehicle failure, these hiccups could likely cool sales in a market is spoilt for choice.
Image Credit: Arianespace