The Ariane 5 launch vehicle posted its 65th consecutive launch success as it launched the 6,200kg DirecTV 15 for DirecTV and the 2,962kg Sky Mexico-1 spacecraft for DirecTV’s affiliate Sky Mexico, into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). The launch took place at 2116 GMT on 27 May 2015 from the Kourou launch site in French Guiana.
DirecTV-15 was built by Airbus Defence and Space using its Eurostar E3000 platform. It will use reverse-band transponders to broadcast ultra-high definition television as well as having a conventional Ka-band and Ku-band transponder payload. It will operate initially from 108.2 degrees West in the geostationary orbital arc.
The smaller Sky Mexico-1 spacecraft was built by Orbital ATK using its Geostar 2.4E bus and will operate over 78.8 degrees West in the geosynchronous arc, offering communications services via its 24 Ku-band transponder, two reverse-band transponder payload.