Astrium has achieved a second triple challenge with the successful launch of the second Skynet 5 satellite – Skynet 5B – on 14 November from Kourou, French Guiana.
“Progressing from the success of Skynet 5A,this marks another major milestone for Astrium with our latest triple challenge – building the Skynet 5 satellites, placing them in orbit on-board Ariane 5, and delivering a new era in secure military communications to the UK Ministry of Defence, in the form of a unique service provision approach.”Francois Auque, CEO of Astrium, said.
Astrium Space Transportation is prime contractor for the Ariane 5 system, responsible for the delivery of fully integrated and tested launch vehicles to Arianespace.
Astrium Satellites is responsible for the Skynet 5 satellites and the complete communications system. Following launch, Skynet 5B, designed and built by Astrium Satellites, will now undergo a period of intensive in-orbit testing of both satellite and payload before moving to its operational position at 53 degrres E.
Initial transfer of services will commence in the coming weeks.