The Intelsat New Dawn satellite was successfully launched on Friday, following a delay when the first attempt was aborted earlier in the month.
Arianespace announces that the Ariane 5 vehicle lifted off from Kourou, French Guiana at 5:37 on Friday, with spacecraft separation from the launch vehicle taking place at 6:12 and signal acquisition at 6:29.
The Intelsat New Dawn satellite is owned by a joint venture between a consortium led by Convergence Partners and Intelsat. The satellite’s 28 C-band and 24 Ku-band 36 MHz transponder units are designed specifically to supply critical communications infrastructure for African customers, who have experienced exceptional growth along with the development of the region.
Operating from a geostationary orbital slot at 32.8º East, Intelsat New Dawn will be ideally positioned to serve Africa through a payload optimized to deliver new capacity for voice, wireless backhaul, fixed line and wireless infrastructure, broadband and media– the fastest growing satellite-based applications in Africa.
“Intelsat and the African continent share a 40-year history in the development of Africa’s telecommunications infrastructure,” says Dave McGlade, Intelsat CEO. “Intelsat New Dawn will be integrated with the resilient Intelsat fleet, allowing us to expand and enhance the vital communications services that are provided by our customers to business consumers throughout Africa.”
Andile Ngcaba, chairman of Convergence Partners, says: “The satellite will not only deliver crucial services specifically tailored for Africa, it will also herald the dawn of a new era where Africans enjoy far greater involvement in the space communications industry.”
Intelsat New Dawn is the first of eight satellites slated for launch over the next two years and is part of the largest satellite program in Intelsat’s history. The investment program is expected to provide enhanced high-powered capacity to Intelsat’s global fleet. Intelsat’s next launch is expected to be the Intelsat 18 satellite, slated for later in 2011.