On July 15, 2015, Arianespace conducted successful launch of Ariane 5 launch vehicle carrying two spacecraft, Star One C4 telecommunications satellite for Brazilian operator Embratel Star One and MSG-4 meteorological satellite for EUMETSAT, into a geostationary orbit from Guiana Space Center.
This was the sixth mission of the year for Arianespace, and third for Ariane 5 heavy launcher. Being designated VA224 in Arianespace's numbering system – signifying the 224th lift-off of Ariane-series vehicles since 1979 – the mission orbited 511th and 512th satellites launched by Arianespace.
Star One C4 is the 10th satellite orbited by Arianespace for the private operator Embratel Star One, largest satellite operator in South America, following the successful launch of company's Star One C3 satellite in November 2012.
Built by Space Systems/Loral (SSL) on 1300 platform, having lift-off mass of 5,565 kg, and fitted with 48 active Ku-band transponders, Star One C4 will be positioned at 70° West. It will ensure the continuity of telephone, television, radio, data transmission and Internet services of the entire Brazilian territory, and the expansion of the service to South and Central America, as well as Mexico and the United States.
MSG-4 is the fourth and last Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellite. It is also the 12th EUMETSAT satellite launched by Arianespace. The MSG series of geostationary satellites is vital to ensure the safety of lives, property and infrastructure, through its critical value for the forecasting of high impact weather. Built by Thales Alenia Space, it weighs 2,043 kg and to be positioned at 3.4° West.
“We have performed six launches already, in line with our busy manifest targeting up to 12 launches for 2015. Arianespace is demonstrating – launch after launch – its capability to increase its operational pace while remaining the most reliable solution for all its customers.” Stéphane Israël, Arianespace Chairman and CEO
The next Arianespace mission is scheduled for August 20, when Ariane 5 is slated to orbit communications satellites for Eutelsat and Intelsat.