Skynet 5D & Mexsat-3

Launch Time
Wed Dec 19, 2012 21:49 UTC

Flight VA212.


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

Skynet 5D

Skynet 5D is a military communications satellite operated by Airbus Defence and Space on behalf of the British Ministry of Defence. It was the last of four Skynet 5 satellites to be launched. The spacecraft was constructed by Astrium, based on the Eurostar 3000S satellite bus. It had a mass at launch of approximately 4,800 kilograms (10,600 lb) and is designed to operate for at least 15 years. Its 34-metre (112 ft) solar arrays will generate a minimum of 6 kilowatts to power its UHF and X-band communications systems. The satellite's payload includes jamming countermeasures.

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 4,800.0 kg
Geostationary Transfer Orbit


Mexsat-3, also known as Mexsat Bicentenario or simply Bicentenario, is the first of three Mexican satellites forming the MEXSAT telecommunications network and is named to commemorate the bicentennial of the Independence of Mexico. It was launched on 19 December 2012 to serve the other two satellites in the network, Mexsat-1 and Mexsat-2, as a fixed satellite service. It was manufactured by the company Orbital Sciences Corporation and was launched from Kourou in French Guiana, and currently occupies orbit at 114.9° West.

Payloads: 1
Total Mass: 2,935.0 kg
Geostationary Transfer Orbit


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



78th orbital launch attempt


203rd mission
9th mission of 2012
196th successful mission
59th consecutive successful mission

Ariane 5

67th mission
7th mission of 2012
63rd successful mission
53rd consecutive successful mission