Arianespace successfully launched two satellites from French Guiana aboard its Ariane 5 heavy-lift rocket: ABS-2 and Athena-Fidus for the defense/homeland security needs of France and Italy.
ABS-2, which was manufactured by Space Systems/Loral (SSL), carries 89 active C, Ku and Ka-band transponders across 10 different beams. ABS-2 brings unparalleled coverage and expansion capacity at ABS' prime location of 75 degrees East, extending affordable and reliable communications and broadcast services to the emerging markets of the world. it will provide broadcasting, telecommunications and data services for Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Russia/CIS countries.
Athena-Fidus, which was built by Thales Alenia Space, will deliver telecommunications services to both armed forces and homeland security units in France and Italy from a geostationary orbit position.
The next Arianespace mission is planned for March 7, using another Ariane 5 to orbit the ASTRA 5B and Amazonas 4A relay satellites.