Airbus T-16 satellite launched on Ariane 5

Airbus T-16 satellite launched on Ariane 5

Stephen Kuper

The Airbus-built T-16 telecommunications satellite has been successfully launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana, the second successful launch for Ariane in 2019.

Arianespace announced lift-off at 21:43 GMT (18:43 local time) Monday from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The mission lasted about 33 minutes.

T-16 is based on Airbus’ highly reliable Eurostar E3000 geostationary platform and is the 50th Eurostar E3000 satellite launched. It will provide high power satellite capacity for high availability TV broadcast services, including overcoming rain fade.

Jean-Marc Nasr, head of Airbus Space Systems, said, "T-16 is one of our most powerful direct to home broadcast satellites, with a record number of +180 High Power Amplifiers. T-16 will be able to broadcast hundreds of UltraHD 4K video services to end customers spread across the USA." 

Following launch and separation, the Eurostar E3000 spacecraft will use its own chemical propulsion system to reach geostationary orbit in approximately one week. T-16 will provide high-power broadcast services in Ku, Ka and Reverse bands.

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"Our Eurostar satellites have already clocked up more than 800 cumulative years of operational service in orbit. This is a true double success for us – as we also celebrate the 104th launch of the Ariane 5," Nasr added. 

T-16, owned by AT&T (DirecTV), provides high-power broadcast services covering the continental US, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. T-16 has a design life of 15 years.

Eutelsat-7C, owned and operated by Eutelsat, provides high-power broadcasting for markets in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Turkey. This satellite has a design life of more than 15 years. The performance requested for this launch was about 10,594 kg. The satellites totalled about 9,730 kg, with payload adapters and carrying structures making up the rest.

Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2018, it generated revenues of €64 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000.

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