Arianespace successfully launched DirecTV-14 (for DirectTV) and GSAT-16 (for the Indian Space Research Organization – ISRO) on an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana at 5:40 p.m., Dec. 6, 2014 (local time). Arianespace said it has orbited nearly 65 percent of all commercial satellites to date in 2014.
Shortly after the announcement that the satellites had been reached orbit, Arianespace Chairman and CEO Stéphane Israël said: “Tonight, we are very proud of meeting the expectations of these two loyal customers, whose diversity clearly reflects our clientele: DirecTV is a private operator based in the United States that provides direct-to-home broadcast services, while ISRO is a state agency and public operator, in charge of a wide range of satcom applications for the benefit of Indian citizens. I would like to thank both of these prestigious organizations for continuing to place their trust in us, launch after launch, which encourages us to constantly improve our services.” He took the opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to Arianespace's tenth successful launch of the year – the joint venture Airbus Safran Launcers and its European Partners, CNES-CSG and everybody at the spaceport, and all of Arianespace's own teams, “whose dedication is only equaled by their excellence across the board.”
DirecTV-14 will provide direct-to-home (DTH) TV services in HD and 4K UHD to North America, including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico using a very advanced beam forming network designed by Space Systems Loral (SSL). It is the seventh satellite to be launched by Arianespace with a payload for DirectTV and the 46th satellite built by SSL to be orbited by Arianespace. SSL reported on Dec. 8 that DirecTV 14 has begun post-launch maneuvers to position it into geostationary orbit. It will operate at 99 degrees west longitude.
GSAT-16 is a multiband, multi-application telecommunications satellite that will provide coverage over the entire Indian sub-continent. It is the 18th ISRO satellite to be launched by Arianespace and includes 24 C-band transponders and 12 upper-extended C- band transponders, each with 36 MHz usable bandwidth. It also has 12 Ku-band transponders, also with 36 MHz usable bandwidth, according to www.isro.org. It will be positioned at 55 degrees east longitude, co-located with GSAT-8, IRNSS-1A and IRNSS-1B.