Soaring into clear skies over the Amazon rainforest, Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket successfully placed a duo of communications satellites into Geostationary Transfer Orbit, as shown by initial tracking data.
Ariane 5 blasted off at 20:30 UTC on Wednesday and completed a standard ascent mission using its powerful boosters for a burn of a little over two minutes and firing its core stage for just under nine minutes before handing off to the second stage for a main engine burn of 16 minutes. The VA226 mission aimed for injection at 640 Kilometers in altitude and a target speed of 9.37km/s.
The target orbit published by Airbus Defence and Space was specified as 249.4 by 35,786 Kilometers at an inclination of 6.0 degrees.
Preliminary tracking data shows the orbits of the four objects delivered to GTO (ESC-A second stage, Sylda 5C payload adapter, Sky Muster & ARSAT-2):
2015-054A - 180.7 x 35,563 km - 5.92° 2015-054B - 205.5 x 35,549 km - 6.04° 2015-054C - 239.8 x 35,683 km - 6.00° 2015-054D - 243.8 x 35,747 km - 6.07°