- Press Release
- August 7, 2022
ARIANESPACE FLIGHT 141 – Intelsat 901 is in orbit!
Arianespace successfully launched the first Intelsat IX-series satellite in
an early-morning mission June 9 from the Spaceport in French Guiana.
After a one-day delay due to unfavorable winds in the skies above the launch
site, the Ariane 4 lifted off at the 3:45 a.m. opening of a one-hour launch
Riding the thrust of the four first-stage engines and four liquid strap-ons,
the Ariane 44L vehicle climbed into the darkness on a perfect trajectory
that delivered Intelsat 901 into geostationary transfer orbit 20 minutes
Conny Kullman, Intelsat Chief Executive Officer, thanked Arianespace for a
“another ‘boring mission,’ during which the launcher followed the trajectory
just as expected.”
He said today’s flight was an extremely important one for Intelsat,
representing the opening of a new era with the introduction of the new
IX-series spacecraft. “It is the first of 10 next-generation satellites
planned for deployment between 2001 and 2003, including seven IX-series
spacecraft, two X-series satellites, and the all-Ku-band APR-3 satellite.”
Initial data from Intelsat 901 was received by Intelsat’s control facility
in Washington, D.C. shortly after Flight 141’s completion, and the satellite
was reported to be healthy and operational.
Arianespace Chief Operating Officer Jacques Rossignol noted that Intelsat is
Arianespace’s largest customer, and has shown its confidence in the launch
services company since Arianespace’s creation. “Intelsat and Arianespace
have had 20 years of continuous cooperation, and we are pleased to have been
at your service again today,” he added.
The Intelsat 901 was the 18th satellite launched by Arianespace for
Intelsat, and marked the 62nd successful launch in a row for Ariane 4.
The decision to restart the final countdown for today’s launch was made
yesterday evening after weather personnel closely monitored the wind
conditions during the day, and performed a late afternoon launch of a
balloon that allowed the winds to be tracked at altitude.
Intelsat 901 was built by Space Systems/Loral, and weighed more than 4,700
kg. at liftoff. It will replace the current Intelsat satellite at 342*E,
providing Ku-Band spot beam coverage for Europe as well as C-Band coverage
for the Atlantic Ocean Region.