Olympus 1

Launch Time
Wed Jul 12, 1989 00:14 UTC

Last flight of Ariane 3. Flight V32.


Ariane 3
Image Credit: Arianespace
Status: Retired
Liftoff Thrust: 5,100 kN
Payload to GTO: 2,700 kg
Stages: 3
Strap-ons: 2
Rocket Height: 49.0 m

Mission Details

Olympus 1

Olympus-1 was a communications satellite built by Astrium (at the time of the construction of the satellite British Aerospace and Matra Marconi Space) and Thales Alenia Space (also at the time Alcatel Espace and Alenia Spazio), along with Fokker and SPAR Aerospace, for the European Space Agency.

At the time of its launch on 12 July 1989, it was the largest civilian telecommunications satellite ever built, and sometimes known as "LargeSat" or "L-Sat". The satellite had a series of unfortunate accidents in orbit and went out of service on 11/12 August 1993.

The first accident was the loss of ability to articulate the satellite's solar arrays. This was later followed by the loss of an onboard gyro during the height of the Perseid meteor shower. The satellite spun out of control and efforts to stabilise it resulted in the expenditure of the majority of its fuel. Subsequently, it was moved to a GEO disposal orbit and was put out of commission. The Olympus bus was reincarnated as Alphabus, made by the same manufacturers, this time for Inmarsat (Inmarsat-4A F4).

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 2,595.0 kg
Geostationary Transfer Orbit


ELA-1, Guiana Space Centre, French Guiana, France



54th orbital launch attempt


23rd mission
5th mission of 1989
21st successful mission
13th consecutive successful mission

Ariane 3

11th mission
1st mission of 1989
10th successful mission
6th consecutive successful mission