Ariane 5 launches Egyptian, Inmarsat telecom sats in mission insured for $740M as ESA ministers debate launcher support

by Peter B. de Selding

SEVILLE, Spain — Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket’s successful Nov. 26 launch of two telecommunications satellites was, at $740 million, the second most highly insured launch ever and came on the eve of a two-day conference of European ministers to decide a proposed package of 2.67 billion euros ($2.95 billion) in launcher assistance.

The launch, carrying mobile satellite services provider Inmarsat’s GX-5 Ka-band satellite and the Egyptian government’s TIBA-1, ended a disappointing year for Ariane 5, with only four launches because . . .

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