After suffering a weather delay and delays involving a power supply anomaly in ground systems, Ariane 5 ECA finally launched the TIBA-1 and Inmarsat 5-F5 (aka GX 5) communications satellites into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) at 2123 GMT on 26 November from Kourou, French Guiana. Both satellites will use their on-board propulsion systems to circularise their orbits into the geostationary operational positions.  The launch – flight number VA250 –  was the 250th of all the Ariane 1-5 series of rockets since their first flight in 1979.

Ariane 5 ECA on flight VA250. The 250th flight in the Ariane series. Courtesy: Arianespace

TIBA-1 is a communications spacecraft for the Government of Egypt which was built by Thales Alenia Space in conjunction with Airbus Defence and Space. It will operat from a GEO position over 35.5 degrees East. By the way, TIBA is a reference to the city of Thebes.

Inmarsat 5-F5 (GX-5) will be located in GEO over a longitude of 11 degrees East.  It has been built by Thales Alenia Space as a very high throughput communications satellite serving the Global Xpress network.