Ariane 5’s 100th launch a success for Intelsat, JSat, Azercosmos, and a reminder of an industry in tumult

by Peter B. de Selding

PARIS — The successful Ariane 5 launch on Sept. 25 carrying telecommunications satellites for two partnerships — Intelsat with Sky Perfect JSat and Intelsat with Azerbaijan’s Azercosmos — had an end-of-epoch quality demonstrating the upheaval in the commercial satellite market.

Four of the companies involved in the launch — Arianespace, Intelsat, satellite builder SSL and Azercosmos — are prime examples of the challenges facing an industry now confronting upheaval.

Ostensibly, the launch was a celebration of the 100th mission of Ariane 5, a highly successful and reliable vehicle doing what it . . .

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