A pair of communications satellites, Eutelsat-Konnect and GSAT-30, were successfully launched by an Ariane 5 ECA rocket into a 35764 x 245 km orbit six degree inclination geosynchronous Transfer orbit (GTO). The launch of the VA251 flight took place from the Kourou, French Guiana launch site at 2105 GMT on 16 January 2019.

Ariane 5 ECA on flight VA251 puts Eutelsat Konnect and GSAT 30 into orbit. Courtesy: Arianespace via Twitter

The Eutelsat-Konnect spacecraft is a 3,619 kg Ka-band broadband communications satellite which uses the “all electric” Spacebus NEO bus/platform built by Thales Alenia Space. It employs four electric PPS-5000 thrusters which will slowly raise the satellite towards geostationary Earth orbit via a spiral trajectory over the next few months.

The 3,357 kg GSAT-30 spacecraft is a more conventionally propelled C- and Ku-band communications satellite for India whose orbital raising will take place over the next couple of days.

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