According to a senior executive at Arianespace, the Ariane 6 and Vega C rockets will make their first flights in “the first week of July” and “towards the end of the year,” respectively. During a fireside talk during Asia Satellite Business Week that was held in Singapore, Vivian Quenet, Arianespace’s managing director (MD) and head of sales in charge of the Asia-Pacific region, disclosed the timeline.
He added Vega C’s launch will be the company’s second of the year, following the Ariane 5 deployment from French Guiana on June 22 with a geostationary satellites pair from India and Malaysia. Measat-3d, a Malaysian satellite operator, and GSAT-24, a state-funded satellite from NewSpace India Limited, will be on board the rocket. Both satellites are on their way to geostationary orbit to carry out communications.
Measat-3d, manufactured by Airbus Defense and Space, will share the 91.5 degrees East orbital slot together with Measat-3b and Measat-3a to offer satellite broadband to places around Malaysia with little or no terrestrial network. In the Asia-Pacific region, Measat-3 will also offer redundancy and capacity for video distribution.
The satellite’s payloads include Ku- and C- band payloads for direct-to-home television programming and other telecom solutions, as well as a high-throughput Ka-band payload for internet access. As a component of the Korea Augmentation Satellite System attempt to improve GPS accuracy in the area, Measat-3d will deliver an L-band navigation cargo for South Korean satellite operator KT SAT.
GSAT-24 is an ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) Ku-band communications satellite created for ISRO’s commercial subsidiary, NewSpace India Limited (NSIL). It is going to provide India with telecommunications, high-quality television, and broadcasting services.
“After that [Ariane 5 launch], we’ll have the inaugural flight of the Vega C” in the first week of July, followed by “the inaugural flight of Ariane 6, that is our large launcher that will replace Ariane 5” before the close of the year, according to Quenet. He didn’t indicate what Vega C’s initial payload would be. The Ariane 6 was supposed to make its debut in the second part of the year, while the Vega C was supposed to make its premiere at the close of June.
Arianespace had received “a lot of inquiries” from various Asian countries looking to create sovereign launch vehicles as well as Earth observation satellites, according to the executive. He added that the business, which is located in France, is “discussing with those governments to see how we can support them.”
Russia’s war in Ukraine, he said, had harmed the company’s launch capabilities and planning. “We had an influence since we were planning 11 launches on the [Russian rocket] Soyuz,” he explained.
“And because the collaboration had been halted as a result of the sanction, we had to come up with a solution for those eleven launchers.” We’ve occasionally assisted our consumers in contacting our competitors in order to find a solution.” However, he anticipates that once Ariane 6 and Vega C become operational in the following months, the situation will improve.