SpaceTech 2023 - Banner

Ariane 5 breaks world record for GTO mass injection

SES-17. Image: Thales

Paris, 24 October 2021. – Triple A: Arianespace has launched another Ariane 5 from ArianeGroup with two giant satellites on board and broke the record of the largest total mass injected with a single flight into the geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).

For its 111th launch, flight number VA255 from Kourou, French Guiana, Ariane 5 executed the “highest performing flight by any launcher to geostationary transfer orbit”, ArianeGroup said, with two payloads weighing 10.2 tons and a total mass of 11.2 metric tons – “a world record for injection into this orbit”. The launch also included a 1.5 m extension of the fairing in order to adapt it to the specific needs of its two passengers.

The two satellites that Arianespace orbited were SES-17, a high-throughput and spotbeam telecommunications satellite operated by SES, and SYRACUSE 4A, a super secure and resilient telecommunications satellite developed for the French Ministry of the Armed Forces. Both spacecraft were manufactured by Thales Alenia Space and together, could represent a total payload value of 1 billion Euros.

ArianeGroup and Arianespace are now on track for another challenge: the launch of the 10 billion US dollar James Webb space telescope at a distance of 1.5 million kilometers.

Including the telescope mission, Ariane 5 will still launch six times until it will retire and be replaced by Ariane 6.

Check Also


EU SST Wins T.S. Kelso Award for Flight Safety Contributions

Space Data Association has announced The European Union Space Surveillance and Tracking Partnership (EU SST) as the recipient of the T.S. Kelso Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to space flight safety. The EU SST Partnership relies on the SSA capabilities of 15 Member states of the European Union to provide space safety services, with the EU Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) acting as the Front Desk.