Press Release

Ariane 5 ECA launch a success Boosts record payload into orbit

By SpaceRef Editor
November 16, 2005
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Ariane 5 ECA launch a success Boosts record payload into orbit

During the night of Wednesday, November 16 to Thursday, November 17, Arianespace placed two satellites into geostationary transfer orbit: the Spaceway 2 high-definition direct broadcast satellite for the American operator DIRECTV, and the TELKOM 2 communications satellite for the Indonesian operator PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk.

Today’s mission sets a new record for commercial launches: with over 8,000 kg injected into orbit, the Spaceway 2 and Telkom 2 satellites represent the heaviest dual payload ever launched.

Today, Ariane 5 is the only commercial launcher in service capable of simultaneously launching two payloads. Ariane 5 ECA offers a payload capacity of nearly 10,000 kg into geostationary transfer orbit, giving Arianespace’s customers enhanced performance, flexibility and competitiveness through the best launch service in the world.

Today’s mission was the 20th successful launch of an Ariane 5, and the 10th successful launch in a row. One week after the successful launch of the Venus Express spacecraft by a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, this confirms that Arianespace, with its complete family of launchers, offers the best launch solution for operators from around the world.

Spaceway 2/Telkom 2 mission at a glance

The mission was carried out by an Ariane 5 ECA launcher from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Liftoff was on Wednesday, November 16 at 8:46 pm local time in Kourou (6:46 pm in Washington, DC, 23:46 GMT and on Thursday, November 17 at 12:46 am in Paris and 6:46 am in Jakarta).

Provisional parameters at injection of the cryogenic upper stage (ESC-A) were:

  • Perigee: 249.7 km for a target of 249.6 km (+/-3)
  • Apogee: 35,912 km for a target of 35,917 km (+/-160)
  • Inclination: 6.98 degrees for a target of 7.00 degrees (+/-0.06°)

  Spaceway 2, deployed by US operator DIRECTV, the Boeing-built spacecraft is the second in a series of DIRECTV’s next generation of direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast satellites. The spacecrafts’ adaptable spot beam technology and reconfigurable routing will allow DIRECTV, Inc. to bring HDTV local service to most U.S. television households.

Spaceway 2 is the 45th satellite that Arianespace has launched for U.S. customers.

  Telkom 2 was built by Orbital Sciences Corporation of the United States using the Star-2 platform. Weighing about 2,300 kg at launch, it is fitted with 24 C-band transponders. Telkom-2 will provide telephony, image and data transmission services in Southeast Asia and the Indian sub-continent. This is the second satellite for which PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk has chosen Europe’s launcher, following Telkom 1, launched successfully from Kourou on August 12, 1999. It is also the fourth Indonesian satellite to be launched by Ariane, including Palapa C-2 in 1996 and Cakrawarta-1 in 1997.

Telkom 2 is the 43rd Asian satellite to be launched by Arianespace.

About Arianespace

Arianespace is the commercial launch services leader, holding more than 50 percent of the international market for satellites launched to geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).  Created in 1980 as the world’s first commercial space transportation company, Arianespace has signed contracts for the launch of more than 260 satellite payloads.  For further information, see the Arianespace Web site at


SpaceRef staff editor.