The satellite was launched into Geostationary Transfer Orbit by Arianespace using an Ariane 5 rocket that lifted off from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, at 9.05 pm on January 16.
Eutelsat Konnect is the first satellite to use Thales Alenia Space’s all-electric Spacebus NEO platform. This was developed under the Neosat Partnership Project conducted by the European and French space agencies – ESA and CNES.
The satellite will provide full or partial coverage of 15 European and 40 African countries.
Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat, said: “Our congratulations to Arianespace and the Guiana Space Center teams for successfully launching our Eutelsat Konnect satellite towards geostationary orbit.
“The collaboration between Eutelsat, Thales Alenia Space and Arianespace on this ambitious satellite programme has resulted in a world-first broadband satellite for the African and European continents that demonstrates the suitability of satellite infrastructure as a means to deliver high quality broadband services, contributing to bridging the digital divide within rural areas.”
The company has also provided an update to its investigation into an October malfunction on one of the two solar arrays on its Eutelsat 5 West B satellite.
The investigation found that the loss of the satellite’s South solar array has been confirmed, but that aside its performance remains normal. The satellite is now expected to enter commercial service later in January and is expected to meet the designed life time.
As a result, the company’s revenue objective for the financial year has been revised to between €1.27 billion and €1.32 billion for the Operating Verticals.
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