Eutelsat Communications and Es’hailSat have announced that their jointly-owned EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1 satellite was successfully launched on August 30 by an Ariane 5 rocket and is on course for geostationary orbit. 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. Eutelsat and Es’hailSat schedule to bring their satellite into service at 25.5 degrees East at the end of October.
Commenting from Kourou in French Guiana, Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat’s CEO, says: “The 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. 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 Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.”
Ali Ahmed Al-Kuwari, CEO of Es’hailSat, adds: “We are immensely proud to have witnessed here in Kourou the birth of a new star over Qatar with the successful launch of our Es’hail 1 satellite. The Es’hailSat programme plays an important strategic role as Qatar works 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.”
Based on the SSL 1300 platform of Space Systems/Loral, EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1 is designed to serve broadcasters, businesses and public agencies in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia via capacity in the Ku and Ka bands. It will replace the EUTELSAT 25C satellite at the key 25.5 degrees East position to provide both superior geographic coverage and increased capacity to address dynamically expanding digital markets. Following EUTELSAT 25B/Es’hail 1’s entry into service Eutelsat will redeploy its EUTELSAT 25C to another location where it will pursue commercial service.