Launch NewsAriane 5 (VA241) : SES-14 (with NASA GOLD payload) & Al Yah-3 : Jan. 25, 2018

Nicholas Kang

Tutorial Publisher
Tutorial Publisher
News Reporter

Embarking on its first mission of the year, Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket will be tasked with carrying a pair of commercial communications satellites into Geostationary Transfer Orbit. SES-14 is an all-electric satellite built by Airbus Defence and Space, hosting a hybrid C- and Ku-Band payload and a high-throughput Ku/Ka-Band payload to deliver television, VSAT and mobile backhaul services. As a hosted payload, SES 14 carries NASA’s Global-Scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) instrument designed to study the interactions of Earth’s thermosphere with the solar wind. Al Yah 3, built by Orbital ATK, hosts a powerful Ka-Band payload delivering 58 spot beams to deliver broadband services to Africa and Brazil.

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Launch date:​
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January 25, 2018​
Window open:​
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10:20 p.m. UTC​
Window close:​
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11:05 p.m. UTC​
Launch site:​
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ELA-3, Guiana Space Center, French Guiana​

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[highlight]L[eventtimer]2018-01-25 22:20:00;%c%%ddd%/%hh%:%mm%:%ss%[/eventtimer][/highlight]​
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Press Kit​

Launch coverage:

*Launch coverage is provided at arianespace.com. Youtube link to be updated later.

Payload:

SES-14/GOLD

SES-14 will be the 53rd satellite launched by Arianespace for the operator SES (Société Européenne de Satellites), reaching back to Spacenet 1, orbited in May 1984.

SES, a leading global satellite operator, is the first company to operate a scalable GEO-MEO fleet with over 50 satellites in geostationary orbit (GEO) and 12 in medium Earth orbit (MEO). SES provides satellite communications services to broadcasters, content and Internet service providers, operators of fixed and mobile networks, governments and institutions and businesses from around the world.

The SES fleet also includes the ASTRA and O3b satellite systems.

SES-14 is one of the company’s three hybrid satellites, combining wide beams and high throughput (HTS) spot beams. Its hybrid payload offers both C- and Ku-band wide beams, plus Ku- and Ka-band HTS capacity.

Positioned at 47.5° West, SES-14 will fulfill two primary missions: its C-band wide beams are specifically designed for SES’s expanding cable neighborhood in Latin America, while its Ku-band HTS spot beams will provide expansion capacity to serve the dynamic aeronautical and maritime markets and other traffic-intensive applications, such as cellular backhaul or broadband delivery services.

The Ku-band wide beams on SES-14 will augment SES’s ability to serve direct-to-home customers and provide connectivity in the Americas and the North Atlantic. The satellite will provide replacement and expansion capacity for NSS-806.

SES-14 will feature a digital transparent processor (DTP) that will provide more flexibility to route the spot beams and also offer customized connectivity solutions that best fit customers’ needs.

The satellite is equipped with an electric propulsion system for orbital maneuvers and orbit raising duties.

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SES-14 also carries the Global-Scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD), a hosted payload for NASA, whose goal is to improve the understanding of the thermosphere-ionosphere. GOLD will transmit data from a geostationary orbit at a fast pace, to build up a full-disk view every half hour, providing detailed large-scale measurements of the response of the upper atmosphere to forcing from the Sun, the magnetosphere, and the lower atmosphere.

Arianespace currently has nine more SES satellites in its order book: SES-17, four O3b 13 – 16 satellites and four O3b 17-20 satellites.

SES-14 was built by Airbus Defence and Space in its plant in Toulouse, France, using the E3000 EOR platform. It is the 119th satellite from this manufacturer to be launched by Arianespace, and also is the second based on the Eurostar E3000 EOR platform.

Twenty other Airbus-built satellites are in Arianespace’s order book. Furthermore, Airbus is a partner in the construction of the 650 satellites in the OneWeb constellation, to be deployed by Arianespace.

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Specifications

Type / Application:|
• Communication (SES)
• Earth observation (NASA)

Operator:|
• SES
• NASA

Contractors:|
• Airbus Defence and Space

Equipment:|
• C- and Ku-band transponders
• GOLD

Configuration:|
Dimensions:|
• ?

Propulsion:|
• Safran/Snecma PPS-5000 propulsion unit

Power:|
• 2 deployable solar arrays
• batteries

Life Time:|
• 15 years

Launch Mass:|
• 4400 kg

Orbit:|
• GEO
• (Target Orbit) Perigee Altitude: 250 km
• Apogee Altitude: 45000 km
• Inclination: 3 deg

Al Yah 3

Al Yah 3 will be the second satellite launched by Arianespace for the United Arab Emirates operator Yahsat (Al Yah Satellite Communications Company), following Al Yah 1, launched in 2011.

Yahsat is a leading global satellite operator, providing multipurpose satellite solutions (broadband, broadcast, government and communication use) across the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Central and Southwest Asia. Headquartered in the United Arab Emirates at Abu Dhabi, it is wholly-owned by the Mubadala Investment Company, the Abu Dhabi government’s investment vehicle.

Yahsat is the first company in the Middle East and Africa to offer Ka-band services – including YahClick, Yahsat Government Solutions, YahLink and Yahlive – via its Al Yah 1 and Al Yah 2 satellites.

With the launch of Al Yah 3, Yahsat’s commercial Ka-band coverage will be extended to an additional 20 markets, reaching 60% of Africa’s population and over 95% of Brazil’s population.

Al Yah 3 will be positioned at 20° West Longitude.

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The Al Yah 3 satellite carries 53 active Ka-band user beams and four gateway beams, and produces approximately 8.0 kilowatts of payload electrical power. The Ka-band spot beams provide two-way communications services to facilitate high-speed delivery of data to end-user applications such as broadband Internet and corporate networking as well as IP backhaul for telecommunications service providers.

Al Yah 3 is designed to ensure high throughput and high availability for all target segments – including consumers – with small, cost-efficient terminals.

Al Yah 3 was built by Orbital ATK using its new GEOStar-3 hybrid platform, the first application of this platform.

It is the 27th Orbital ATK satellite to be launched by Arianespace, a series that started with the TOPEX-Poseidon mission in 1992.

Arianespace’s order book includes three other Orbital ATK satellites.

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Specifications

Type / Application:|
• Communication

Operator:|
• Al Yah Satellite Communications Company

Contractors:|
• OSC

Equipment:|
• 58 Ka-band spot beams

Configuration:|
Dimensions:|
• ?

Propulsion:|
• IHI BT-4, 4 × XR-5 Hall Current Thrusters

Power:|
• 2 deployable solar arrays
• batteries

Life Time:|
• 15 years

Launch Mass:|
• 3500 kg

Orbit:|
• GEO
• (Target Orbit) Perigee Altitude: 250 km
• Apogee Altitude: 45000 km
• Inclination: 3 deg

Launch Vehicle:

The Ariane 5 is an expendable Launch Vehicle that is being operated by Arianespace. Astrium, an EADS company, is the prime contractor for the Vehicle and is responsible for assembly of the rockets. Astrium is the leader of various sub-contractors that contribute components of the vehicle. Ariane 5 is used to deliver Payloads to Geostationary Transfer Orbit and Low Earth Orbit. The Rocket launches from the Kourou Spaceport, French Guiana. Ariane 5 rockets are manufactured under the authority of the European Space Agency and Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES).

Ariane 5 has logged over 75 flights since the maiden flight in 1996. With that record it has become Europe’s workhorse and will be operated at least until 2015. The Rocket is a flight proven launcher with a record of 69 successes and 2 failures. two flights were filed as partial failures. The Ariane 5 is the fifth rocket of the Ariane family, but has not been directly derived from previous variants. Over the course of the rockets operating lifetime, modifications were made so that different variants of the rocket are available.

The ECA-Type is the most powerful variant of the rocket and is used for most launches with the ES specified vehicle only launching the ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) into Low Earth Orbit. Notable payloads that were delivered to space by an Ariane 5 include the Rosetta and Planck Probes as well as the Herschel Space Observatory. Currently, Ariane 5 is mostly used to commercial satellite delivery launching TV or telecommunication satellites for various customers.

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Specifications

Height:|
• 53m

Diameter:|
• 5.4m

Launch Mass:|
• 777,000kg

Stage 1:|
• EPC

Boosters:|
• 2 SRBs

Stage 2:|
• ESC-A

Mass to LEO:|
• 21,000 kg

Mass to GTO:|
• 10,500 kg

Launch Cost:|
• \$200M

Flight Sequence/Launch Profile:

Refer to Press Kit.

L-5 Weather forecast for Kourou, French Guinea

Time​
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Temps​
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Humidity​
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Chance Of Rain​
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Wind​
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Weather
Night​
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24 °C​
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88%​
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40 %​
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NE at 10-15 km/h​
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Cloudy with showers​

Links:

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Nicholas Kang

Tutorial Publisher
Tutorial Publisher
News Reporter
A trove of videos for all of you space geeks. :lol:

Live broadcast:

SES-14 Presentation:

Al Yah 3 Presentation:

NASA GSFC GOLD Payload Presentation:

DaveS

Addon Developer
Addon Developer
Donator
Beta Tester
Might have the first failure of an Ariane V ECA since it's Return To Flight in 2005 after the failure on its first launch in 2002. No telemetry from the vehicle has been received since the shut down of the EPC (main cryogenic stage).

boogabooga

Bug Crusher
It's taking an unusual amount of time to get confirmation of separation...

Edit:
Launch anomaly confirmed.

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DaveS

Addon Developer
Addon Developer
Donator
Beta Tester
Still awaiting word from Arianespace on the fate of tonight's launch. To recap, the countdown went very well with the Ariane V ECA lifting off right at the opening of the launch window at 5:20 pm EST (2220 UTC). Initial ascent appeared normal with no issues reported with either the twin EAPs or the EPC. The last ground station to have any telemetry is Galliot. No ground station beyond it (Libreville or Malindi) has had any data captured. Malindi should have seen the separations of both SES-16 and Al Yah 3 but it has been silent.

---------- Post added at 12:27 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:20 AM ----------

Arianespace CEO Stephan Israel just confirmed the failure of tonight's launch. He also confirmed that neither satellites have checked in as they were supposed to after the scheduled separations from the ESC-A upper stage. A investigate commission will be formed in the next few days, tasked with finding out what happened and issuing the proper corrective recommendations.

This marks the first failure of any Ariane V since 2002.

Last edited:

boogabooga

Bug Crusher
Blah, there wasn't even a spectacular fireworks display to play on the news tomorrow. Just...silence. Then cut away to really sad engineers.

GLS

Well-known member
Orbiter Contributor
Addon Developer
Just to unnecessarily scare people, in about a year this Ariane version is expected to launch the JWST... :shifty:

Andy44

owner: Oil Creek Astronautix
Addon Developer
Just to unnecessarily scare people, in about a year this Ariane version is expected to launch the JWST... :shifty:

Well, let's hope the investigation turns up a root cause, so they can iron it out then.

Zeehond

New member
Maybe not all is lost: "The SES 14 and Al Yah 3 satellites are in orbit after tonight's launch, sources tell Spaceflight Now."

They speculate that SES 14 could reach its intended orbit with the benefit of its electric thruster.

---------- Post added at 02:09 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:07 AM ----------

Statement by Arianespace:

"The launcher's liftoff took place on January 25, 2018, at 720 p.m. (French Guiana time). A few seconds after ignition of the upper stage, the second tracking station located in Natal, Brazil, did not acquire the launcher telemetry. This lack of telemetry lasted throughout the rest of powered flight.

Subsequently, both satellites were confirmed separated, acquired and they are on orbit. SES-14 and Al Yah 3 are communicating with their respective control centers. Both missions are continuing."

Thunder Chicken

Fine Threads since 2008
Donator
Subsequently, both satellites were confirmed separated, acquired and they are on orbit. SES-14 and Al Yah 3 are communicating with their respective control centers. Both missions are continuing."

Wow, probably a lot of happy and relieved folks in Korou now.

Zeehond

New member
Wow, probably a lot of happy and relieved folks in Korou now.

Well, I am not sure. If the satellites would have been in the correct orbit, I'd think the statement by Arianespace would have mentioned that, so I am assuming the sats are not in the correct orbit. The question then is by how much the intended orbit was missed and if the sats can compensate.

IronRain

The One and Only (AFAIK)
Administrator
Moderator
News Reporter
Donator
Video of the launch:

Administrator
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boogabooga

Bug Crusher
When will the orbital elements be available on these two? Will be interesting.

IronRain

The One and Only (AFAIK)
Administrator
Moderator
News Reporter
Donator
[ame="https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/956810114207543296"]Peter B. de Selding on Twitter: "SES-14 owner @SES_Satellites: Off-target dropoff from @ArianeGroup @Arianespace Ariane 5 means all-electric propulsion to take 4 weeks longer than planned to get to GEO. Sat in good health, no other issues. Still awaiting word from @OrbitalATK & @yahsatofficial on Al Yah 3."[/ame]

boogabooga

Bug Crusher
Curious quote from Stephane Israel:

"I want to present my deepest excuses to our customers..."

Not the best thing to say in English.

jedidia

shoemaker without legs
Addon Developer
Curious quote from Stephane Israel:

"I want to present my deepest excuses to our customers..."

That's a very easy mistake to make if english isn't your first language. I don't think anybody will understand this the wrong way in context.

GLS

Well-known member
Orbiter Contributor
Addon Developer
When will the orbital elements be available on these two? Will be interesting.

Code:
2018-012A
1 43174U 18012A   18026.67579681  .00000138  00000-0  10000-3 0  9993
2 43174  20.6502 234.8478 7646090 229.8909 126.2813  1.84549519    24
2018-012B
1 43175U 18012B   18026.67850892  .00000161  00000-0  10000-3 0  9996
2 43175  20.6506 234.8278 7648195 229.9011 127.6509  1.84411549    28
2018-012C
1 43176U 18012C   18026.65637591 -.00000870  90051-6  00000+0 0  9998
2 43176  21.0120 234.9253 7649910 229.4156 118.4341  1.86718331    24
2018-012D
1 43177U 18012D   18026.64302157 -.00000242  00000-0  00000+0 0  9997
2 43177  20.6422 234.8525 7644300 229.9004 104.6057  1.84584916    19

Should be this: 2 sats, the ESC and Sylda (don't know which one is which).

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