Intelsat celebrates launch of Intelsat 39

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Intelsat yesterday announced the successful launch of their Intelsat 39 from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana (South America). Launched alongside EDRS-C for Airbus, the satellite successfully achieved orbit, and Intelsat confirmed signal acquisition from the satellite shortly after.

Intelsat 39
Intelsat 39 was successfully launched yesterday. Photo: Intelsat

The satellite will provide coverage for both video and broadband services across a wide area and will be particularly important to those users in the Indian Ocean region. It is expected to enter into service during the fourth quarter of this year.

Intelsat 39

Intelsat 39 has been designed to provide high powered, wide steerable spot beams. It promises to deliver faster, more agile connectivity both on land and in the air.

Stephen Spengler, Intelsat’s Chief Executive Officer, commented in a press release,

“Intelsat 39 adds to the breadth of services and vast geographic reach that our global network provides. Businesses and communities across three continents will have greater access to robust, reliable and resilient connectivity services whenever and wherever they need it.”

Intelsat 39 will be used extensively by Myanmar. Photo: Intelsat

Intelsat 39 hosts both Ku- and C-band services, and will be used extensively by the Ministry of Transport and Communications in Myanmar to enhance local network operations. Delivered by Myanmarsat-2, the MOTC will be able to increase bandwidth, reliability and connection speed as it works to bring 3G and 4G connectivity to remote areas of Myanmar.

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As well as this, the satellite will provide broadband and video distribution services across Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. In particular, it is hoped that the new satellite will bring better mobile connectivity in the aerospace and maritime environment, particularly to those users operating in the region of the Indian Ocean.

The launch

The launch took place on August 6, 2019, at 4:30 p.m. (local time) from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. It launched aboard an Arianespace Ariane V rocket. The daytime launch provided excellent viewing capabilities, which you can enjoy in the video below:

Intelsat 39, the heavier of the two satellites at 6,600kg, rode in the rocket’s upper berth. It separated at 29 minutes after liftoff. The lighter EDRS-C, weighing 3,200kg, separated around four and a half minutes later. The mission lasted 33 minutes from liftoff to separation.

Ariane V
Ariane V is used for a variety of satellite launches. Photo: Arianespace

Manufactured by Maxar Technologies in Palo Alto, California, it is the 61st satellite launched by Arianespace for Intelsat since their first launch back in 1983. This satellite will replace Intelsat 902 at a location of 62 degrees east, which has been in orbit since 2011.

Intelsat 39 uses all-electric propulsion to maintain its position in orbit. This not only ensures a more efficient operation throughout its lifespan but also reduces the weight of the payload on take off. The satellite will begin operating at the end of this year and will provide service for a minimum of 15 years.

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