Press Release

Ariane 5 successfully launches THAICOM 4 (IPSTAR ) for Thailand

By SpaceRef Editor
August 11, 2005
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Ariane 5 successfully launches THAICOM 4 (IPSTAR ) for Thailand

Arianespace today successfully lofted the THAICOM 4 (IPSTAR) spacecraft on an Ariane 5 mission that carried the largest commercial communications satellite ever placed in geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).

With its 18th successful mission, the standard Ariane 5G Generic launcher continues to demonstrate its technical and operational maturity. Furthermore, with its large 5-meter diameter payload fairing, Ariane 5 is the only launcher available on the commercial market capable of launching massive satellites such as THAICOM 4 (IPSTAR).

Offering unexcelled reliability and availability, the Ariane 5G and Ariane 5 ECA versions continue to set the global standard for all major telecommunications operators.

The choice of Ariane by Shin Satellite reflects international recognition of Arianespace’s top-flight launch service.

THAICOM 4 (IPSTAR) is the fourth satellite launched by Arianespace for the  Thai operator. It follows THAICOM 1 in 1993, THAICOM 2 in 1994 and THAICOM 3 in 1997 – all of which were launched by Ariane vehicles.

Shin Satellite is one of the leading satellite operators in Asia, and its current constellation of three THAICOM spacecraft provides telecommunications services over Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and most of Europe.

The Ariane 5/THAICOM 4 (IPSTAR) flight at a glance The mission was carried out by an Ariane 5 Generic launcher from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.  Liftoff was on Thursday, August 11, 2005 at 5:20 a.m. local time in Kourou (4:20 a.m. in Washington, D.C., at 08h20 GMT, 10:20 a.m. in Paris and 3:20 p.m. in Bangkok).

Provisional parameters at injection of the Ariane 5’s storable propellant upper stage were:

  • Perigee: 574.8 km for a target of 575 km (±3 km)
  • Apogee: 35.875 km for a target of 35,894 km (±160 km)
  • Inclination: 6.98 degrees for a target of 7.00 degrees (±0.06°)

  THAICOM 4 (IPSTAR) uses the 1300 platform built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) in Palo Alto, California. The largest communications satellite ever built and launched, it weighed 6,485 kilograms (14,300 lb.) at launch. THAICOM 4 (IPSTAR) has a mission life of 12 years.

THAICOM 4 (IPSTAR) will provide Internet access and broadband services to businesses and consumers thanks to 84 spot beams, 3 shaped beams and 7 regional broadcast beams covering 14 countries in the Asia Pacific region.

SpaceRef staff editor.