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Ariane 5 launches two communication satellites for Asia-Pacific Region

MEASAT 3d and GSAT-24 manifest the First Ariane 5 launch of 2022 is a success, supporting MEASAT (Malaysia) and NSIL (India)

The Ariane 5, operated by Arianespace, has successfully launched two telecommunications satellites into geostationary orbit: MEASAT-3d for the Malaysian operator MEASAT, and GSAT-24 built by the Indian Space Agency ISRO on behalf of NSIL (Arianespace)

On Wednesday, June 22, 2022 at 06:50 pm local time (21:50 UTC), An Ariane 5 ECA 'plus' rocket No. L5116 (Ariane Flight VA257) launched the MEASAT-3d and GSAT-24 satellites into Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO), a total payload of approximately 10,863 kg, from Ariane Launch Complex No. 3 (ELA 3) from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.

The rocket took off after a 'hold' (temporary suspension) of about 30 minutes in the countdown. MEASAT-3d is a multi-mission telecommunications satellite built by Airbus Defense and Space for MEASAT Malaysia. GSAT-24 is a 4,000 kg class communications satellite with Ku-band transmitters built for NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

This is the second launch carried out by Arianespace since the beginning of 2022. “The objective of the mission is to launch satellites with a total mass of more than 10 tons into geostationary orbit,” the company said. In fact, the launcher carried a total payload of approximately 10,863 kg.

“With this Ariane 5 mission, Arianespace is honored to support the ambitions of two key actors in the Asia-Pacific region: MEASAT, the leading Malaysian satellite operator and NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), a Government of India company within the Department of Space (DOS) acting in concert with the Indian Space Agency ISRO. With the orbiting of both MEASAT-3d, the fourth satellite that we’ve launched for the benefit of Malaysia, and GSAT-24, the 25th Indian satellite we’ve delivered for them, we are affirming our long term partnership with these two great actors,” declared Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace

“Today’s successful mission of GSAT-24 is a major step forward for NSIL in commercially meeting the DTH communication needs of the country using indigenously built satellite solutions from ISRO,” Dr S Somanath, Secretary DOS said.

GSAT-24 is configured on ISRO's proven I-3k Bus with a mission life of 15 years. "'Demand-driven' mode basically means when the satellite is launched, one will know who the end customers are going to be and what's the kind of utilization and commitment so that you have very effective utilization of this satellite capacity once it goes into orbit", an NSIL official explained. "Earlier, the mode was more supply-driven, with capacity being leased after the launch with largely no firm commitment by customers beforehand", the official noted.

"The entire mission is fully funded by NSIL -- satellite, launch, launch campaign, insurance, transportation, in-orbit maintenance, and support. Once the satellite is up in orbit, this will be fully owned and operated by NSIL, Radhakrishnan Durairaj, NSIL Chairman and Managing Director said in a post-launch interview.

GSAT-24 is a 24 Ku band communication satellite meant for meeting the DirectTo-Home (DTH) communication needs of the country. Satellite weighed 4180 kg

at lift-off, and has a mission life of 15 years. NSIL has leased the entire satellite

capacity to M/s Tata Play for a period of 15 years. The entire funding for the

GSAT-24 mission has been borne by NSIL.

After nearly 40 minutes of flight, GSAT-24 satellite was successfully injected into

its intended Geo-Synchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) with Perigee: 250 km and

Apogee: 35825 km.

Post-separation of GSAT-24 satellite, ISRO's Master Control Facility at Hassan,

Karnataka took control of the satellite and initial data received indicates good

health of the satellite. In the coming days, the orbit of GSAT-24 satellite will

be raised from GTO to Geo-Stationary Orbit (GSO), through a series of orbit

raising maneuvers using satellite’s on-board propulsion system.

With the successful launch of GSAT-24, NSIL will be owning and operating nearly 11 Communication Satellites in orbit and would meet the bulk of the communication needs of the country. GSAT-24 is the first of the many Demand Driven Missions, that NSIL would undertake in the coming years.