BSAT-3a and Spaceway 3 Successfully Launched
Arianespace has successfully launched two satellites, Spaceway 3 and BSAT-3a into orbit, the company announced August 14. An Ariane 5 rocket lifted both communications satellites into space at 7:44 p.m. EDT (23:44 GMT) from Ariane Launch Complex 3 in Kourou, French Guiana.
Spaceway 3 is a Hughes Network Systems (HNS) satellite, and BSAT-3a is for the U.S. manufacturer Lockheed Martin Commercial Satellite Systems as part of a turnkey contract with Broadcasting Satellite System Corp. (B-SAT) of Japan. Spaceway 3 is a Ka-band satellite to be operated by HNS. BSAT-3a is the eighth satellite in Japan’s BS series to use the European Ariane launcher, and the 22nd for a Japanese operator.
The latest launch of the Ariane 5 is the third so far to have taken place this year, with another three due before the end of the year. Arianespace, the European launch provider, has had a busy year so far. It has signed 11 new launch contracts this year, and now has a backlog of 42 satellites to be launched after last night’s successful dual-payload launch.
Since the successful launch last night, Boeing said August 15 that it had sent and received the first on-orbit commands from the Boeing-built Spaceway 3 satellite following yesterday’s launch. Boeing said that all data shows that Spaceway 3 is healthy and operating normally.