Arianespace SES 14/Al Yah 3 launch update

It now appears that the launch this evening was at least partially successful as announced by Arianespace, however, at present, we don’t know for certain if the satellites were deployed to the correct orbits or not.

SES made the following announcement, based on this it does appear that the Ariane 5 delivered the satellites into a lower than expected orbit, in the SES press release they announced that the spacecraft would require an additional four weeks to reach the desired orbit and would use its electric propulsion system to get there.

We don’t know what impact this will have on the Al Yah 3 satellite that uses the traditional chemical-based propulsion to reach it’s desired orbit before switching to an electric system for station keeping.

We will update the article when further news is available.

Arianespace SES 14/Al Yah 3 launch appears to have failed

Today’s Ariane 5 launch of the SES 14 and Al Yah 3 satellites appears to have failed sometime after the first stage separation. The launch lifted off at 5:20 pm EST and appeared to be going smoothly with the successful booster separation, payload fairing separation, and first stage engine burnout.

However, telemetry from the spacecraft was lost soon after the first stage separation and while the launch commentator continued to read out successful milestones it soon became obvious that something was wrong when the DDO (Launch Range Manager in English) wasn’t announcing those same milestones.

As the mission continued Arianespace paused their live stream of the events with the notice that they were waiting for satellite signal acquisition before resuming, after a while the CEO of Arianespace made an official announcement that there appears to have been an anomaly with the launch. That doesn’t mean that the satellites were lost but they will not know until they have researched further.

We will update this article as we receive more information from Arianespace but expect that there may be a delay to future launches.