Hot Bird 7, Stentor & MFD-A/B

Launch Time
Wed Dec 11, 2002 22:22 UTC

Maiden flight of Ariane 5ECA. First-stage engine failure resulted in the destruction of the rocket by range safety. Flight V156.


Ariane 5 ECA
Image Credit: Arianespace
Status: Retired
Price: $200.0 million
Liftoff Thrust: 15,120 kN
Payload to LEO: 21,000 kg
Payload to GTO: 10,500 kg
Stages: 2
Strap-ons: 2
Rocket Height: 53.0 m
Fairing Diameter: 5.4 m
Fairing Height: 17.0 m

Mission Details

Hot Bird 7

Hot Bird 7 was a French communications satellite. Intended for operation by Eutelsat, it was to have provided direct-to-home broadcasting services from geostationary orbit as part of Eutelsat's Hot Bird constellation. Hot Bird 7 was intended to replace the Hot Bird 3 satellite which had been launched in 1997.

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 3,400.0 kg
Geostationary Transfer Orbit


The Stentor (Satellite de Télécommunications pour Expérimenter les Nouvelles Technologies en Orbite) technological satellite is a French experimental programme to validate, in flight, advanced technologies which would be integrated into the next generation of telecommunications spacecraft. This program will bring French competence to the highest level, both for the prime contractors and the equipment manufacturers, and the ultimate is to improve France's competitive position in the export market. It is supported by CNES (French Space Agency), France Telecom (French Telecommunications Operator), and DGA (Ministry of Defence).

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 2,080.0 kg
Geostationary Transfer Orbit


6 Modular Fitting Dummies (MFD) ring-shaped 700 kg modules were primarily designed to adapt the payload mass of the first flight of the new Ariane-5ECA in October 2002 to the new powerful performance. They were manufactured by Kayser-Threde.

The set of six 700 kg Modular Fitting Dummies (MFD) had been shipped to Kourou in June 2002. It consists of four MFD 500 and two MFD 325 (the figure indicating the ring's height in mm). The modules can be reduced in mass by 150 kg each by removing trim masses. The concept of modular dummies allows Arianespace to respond to the respective flight configuration of an upcoming launch. The MFDs remain attached to the upper stage or the upper part of the SYLDA-5 adapter.

Payloads: 2
Total Mass: 1,400.0 kg
Geostationary Transfer Orbit


ELA-3, Guiana Space Centre, French Guiana, France



58th orbital launch attempt


144th mission
11th mission of 2002
6th failed mission

Ariane 5

14th mission
4th mission of 2002
2nd failed mission