|Mission type||Military communications|
On behalf of British Ministry of Defence
|Mission duration||15 years|
|Launch mass||4,800 kilograms (10,600 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||19 December 2012, 21:49UTC|
|Rocket||Ariane 5ECA VA211|
|Launch site||Kourou ELA-3|
The Skynet 5D 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.
Skynet 5D was launched by an Ariane 5ECA carrier rocket flying from ELA-3 at Kourou. The launch occurred at 21:49 UTC on 19 December 2012. Skynet 5D was one of two satellites aboard the rocket, the other being Mexsat Bicentenario, which was located below it; Skynet 5D was mounted atop a Sylda 5 adaptor.
The launch placed Skynet 5D into a geosynchronous transfer orbit, from which was planned to raise itself into geostationary orbit. The spacecraft was expected to be placed at a longitude of 25 degrees East.
- Krebs, Gunter. "Skynet 5A, 5B, 5C, 5D". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- "A Satellite Launch for the British MoD and Mexico" (PDF). Arianespace. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 November 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- "Skynet-5D: Military satellite's classified tech". BBC News. 19 December 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- Bergin, Chris (19 December 2012). "Ariane 5 ECA launches Skynet 5D and Mexsat 3/Bicentenario". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
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