Commercial launch services provider Arianespace and fleet operator Intelsat signed an agreement today for two launches of three satellites, Galaxy 35, Galaxy 36 and Galaxy 37, on Ariane 5 and Ariane 6 launch vehicles.
This contract continues the outstanding relationship that dates back to 1983 between Arianespace and its customer Intelsat, operator of the world’s largest integrated satellite and terrestrial network.
Arianespace will launch the Galaxy 35 and Galaxy 36 satellites together as a stacked pair in 2022, and Galaxy 37 in 2023. Both launches will be performed from Europe’s Spaceport in South America aboard an Ariane 5 and Ariane 64 launch vehicle, respectively.
All three satellites will operate in the upper portion of the C-band spectrum, a range of wireless radio frequencies that is used for critical telecommunications and data connectivity around the world. With this mission, Intelsat will meet the accelerated C-band spectrum clearing timelines established by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this year, in order to make the lower portion of the C-band spectrum available to mobile network operators to further the rollout of critical 5G services.
Maxar Technologies will build the three satellites, all using Maxar’s industry-leading 1300-class platform, in its manufacturing facility in Palo Alto, California.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to sign this agreement to launch three payloads for Intelsat. It is a profound honor to see the perpetuation of this deep and lasting relationship with Intelsat while enabling the roll-out of 5G in the U.S. We are all the more honored that Intelsat has opted for an Ariane 6 vehicle for the first time,” declared Stéphane Israël, CEO of Arianespace.
“Intelsat looks forward to continuing our longstanding partnership with Arianespace to launch these satellites, which are critical to accelerating the clearing of the C-Band spectrum and ensuring the U.S. maintains its leadership in 5G and other advanced telecommunications technologies,” said Mike DeMarco, the Chief Services Officer of Intelsat.