French satellite launch company Arianespace has successfully launched a telecommunications payload for Visiona Tecnologia Espacial on behalf of operator Telebras and the Brazilian Government.
The Ariane 5 heavy-lift launch vehicle with Brazil's Geostationary Satellite of Defense and Strategic Communications (SGDC) lifted off from the Kourou base in French Guiana.
Operating from an orbital position of 75° west and at an altitude of 36,000km from Earth, SGDC will provide broadband internet services to the entire Brazilian territory and expand the operational capacity of the Armed Forces.
The SGDC launch mission lasted for more than 30 minutes, the Brazilian Ministry of Defense stated.
Visiona president Eduardo Bonini said: "With the launch of the SGDC, Visiona demonstrates its ability to execute and manage such a complex and important programme for Brazil within the schedule, cost and performance contracted.
"The satellite meets or even exceeds the requirements of the government and should promote the digital inclusion of millions of Brazilians, as well as the security of government communications and the Armed Forces."
Nearly BRL2.7bn ($848.04m) was spent on the SGDC project, which is a partnership between the Ministries of Defense and Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications. Visiona is responsible for the structuring and integration of the SGDC programme.
Besides SGDC, Ariane 5 also orbited KOREASAT-7, which will be operated by KTsat, a wholly owned subsidiary of South Korea’s KT Corp.
The latest mission, called Flight VA236, also marks the seventh time that Arianespace has performed a dual-payload flight.
Both of the payloads were produced by Thales Alenia Space using its Spacebus satellite platforms.
Image: Ariane 5 is shown ready for its evening lift-off from the Spaceport on Flight VA236, which deployed the SGDC and KOREASAT-7 satellite passengers. Photo: © Arianespace.