Eutelsat, Qatar group launch satellite
Paris, August 31, 2013
Eutelsat Communications, one of the world's leading satellite operators, and its Qatari partner Es'hailSat have announced that their jointly-owned Eutelsat 25B/Es'hail 1 satellite has been successfully launched by an Ariane 5 rocket and is on course for geostationary orbit.
The lift-off of the Ariane rocket carrying the 6.3 tonne satellite took place on Friday at Kourou in French Guiana, said a statement from Eutelsat Communications.
The Eutelsat 25B/Es'hail 1's solar panels were deployed within four hours of separation from the launch vehicle and preparations are underway for the first of four firings of its apogee motor to complete its journey into orbit, it stated.
Eutelsat and Es'hailSat schedule to bring their jointly owned satellite into service at 25.5degree(s) East at the end of October, it added.
Commenting on the launch, CEO Michel de Rosen, said: "Tonight's launch is a milestone marking a three-year journey since Eutelsat sealed a strategic alliance with Es'hailSat, our Qatari partner, to pursue a ground-breaking joint satellite programme."
"We are now entering a new phase with the beginning of shared operations of a sophisticated and flexible communications satellite designed to deliver over 15 years of service to our two companies. Our thanks go to Arianespace, with whom Eutelsat has built a solid relationship over 30 years, for executing a flawless launch," he remarked.
"We look forward to serving customers with the first-class resources this new satellite will provide and to further anchoring our commitment to markets in the Mena and Central Asia," he added.
Es'hailSatAli CEO Ahmed Al-Kuwari pointed out that the programme played an important strategic role as Qatar worked to meet the rapidly growing communications needs in the region.
"With the arrival of Es'hail 1, we have completed the first step in our mission to become a centre of excellence in the region and develop a sustainable national satellite industry. Qatar's first satellite will provide our strategic stakeholders and commercial customers with broadcasting independence, quality service and wide geographical coverage," he added.-TradeArabia News Service