A strong European rocket launched a communications satellite of record-setting size from South America on Wednesday (Sept. 7).
An Ariane 5 rocket conveying the Eutelsat Konnect VHTS satellite took off from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. EDT (2145 GMT). Just shy of 29 minutes after the fact, the Ariane 5’s upper stage sent the satellite into geostationary exchange orbit as expected.
Eutelsat Konnect VHTS (another way to say “exceptionally high throughput satellite”) is the biggest shuttle at any point worked by French-Italian aviation producer Thales Alenia Space, as per a mission description(opens in new tab) by Arianespace, the French organization that works the Ariane 5. Eutelsat Konnect VHTS weighs in at 7 tons (6.4 metric tons) and is around 29 feet (8.8 m) tall.
The satellite packs a great deal of execution into that huge casing.
“With an instantaneous rate of 500 Gbps [gigabits per second], Eutelsat Konnect VHTS will provide high-speed internet access throughout Europe, in particular in isolated regions with low coverage, offering a service comparable to fiber optic networks in terms of performance and cost, thus making a significant contribution to bridging the digital divide,” Arianespace representatives wrote in the mission description.
“Eutelsat Konnect VHTS will also address the broadband connectivity needs of fixed and mobile telecommunications networks, on land, sea or in the air,” they added.
The satellite is intended to work for somewhere around 15 years in Earth orbit.
Wednesday’s launch, which was moved back a day by terrible climate, was the second of 2022 for the 166-foot-tall (50.5 meters) Ariane 5 and Arianespace’s third of the year overall.
The mission was one of only a modest bunch staying for the respected Ariane 5, which appeared during the 1990s and has in excess of 100 missions added to its repertoire. Arianespace is fostering the rocket’s replacement, the Ariane 6, as would be considered normal to fly interestingly one year from now.